Ramaphosa must declare a state of emergency in eThekwini now
15 July 2021
President Cyril Ramaphosa must urgently declare a State of Emergency within the eThekwini Metropole to restore peace, law and order in the community and secure the safety of all residents.
The coordinated domestic terrorism currently taking place in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) continues unabated and urgent action is required to enhance law enforcement operations in eThekwini and surrounds, to halt the destruction of property, and prevent the further loss of life.
Declaring a State of Emergency in eThekwini is a drastic, but necessary, step to fight the runaway criminality in that area whilst avoiding a wholesale limitation of residents' rights across KZN.
Recently, the community of Phoenix is reported as a war zone with dead bodies, armed community militia and the torching of cars in streets. On social media, there are reports of video showing bodies scattered on the streets of Phoenix – the authenticity of which is unverified.
Equally concerning are the growing reports of racial tensions among community members in the city. According to reports, communities are allegedly targeting specific racial groups in alleged pre-emptive protection of their properties. These racialised tensions have spilled over onto social media, further stoking the fires of abhorrent racism.
These acts of violence cannot go ignored and urgent action must be taken to stop the further breakdown of law and order. For Ramaphosa and his cabinet, now is the time to act. The situation in Kwa-Zulu Natal, and eThekwini in particular, has spiralled out of control and the meagre 2500 South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) initially deployed to KZN and Gauteng have not ended the violence and lawlessness of the past week.
It is a failure of leadership that Ramaphosa and his cabinet have only now seen fit to muster the 25 000 troops desperately needed to fight the rising terrorism in the KZN and Gauteng. Only Ramaphosa would know his reasons for failing to take strong and decisive action.
To prevent any further harm to lives and livelihood, the President and his cabinet must ensure that our military and law enforcement agencies are fully empowered to re-establish law and order by:
Declaring a State of Emergency in eThekwini and ensuring the necessary support is provided to the city and the province;
Ensuring proper law enforcement operations are intelligence-driven;
Urgently establishing 24 Hours special Court to expeditiously process these cases; and
Monitoring social media for the incitement of violence and hate speech in order to hold those responsible accountable.
As ActionSA, we continue our call to all sectors of society to exercise calm and respect for our rule of law. We equally call on all residents to not take the law into their own hands. Vigilantism will only serve to further undermine the rule of law. That said, Ramaphosa, his cabinet and law enforcement agencies must also come to the party.
Through our decisive commitment to ethical leadership and the rule of law, an ActionSA government would never let this sad state of affairs come to pass. ActionSA stands ready to provide an alternative to the broken political system that has failed our people.
Issued by Herman Mashaba, ActionSA President, 15 July 2021