Unrest: Government was caught asleep on duty
17 July 2021
President Cyril Ramaphosa should have said what he said last night about the unrest that has driven South Africa to the verge of anarchy on Monday already. The President also spoke about soldiers that must still be deployed in certain areas. That should have been done more than a week ago as well.
The same mistake that was made a week ago is still being made now as those who, according to the President, orchestrated and incited the unrest are still not behind bars.
According to the President, though, the security forces know the identities of these individuals. They must be arrested at once and charged with sedition and high treason. It is unacceptable that they are being afforded more time to keep fanning the flames of the unrest.
On Monday evening, the President appeared to still be in the dark with regard to what the unrest situation entailed and he opted to largely blame poverty and inequality for the looting and destruction.
It serves as proof that the country's intelligence forces were caught asleep on duty. At the time, opportunistic criminality was also put forward as a reason for the unrest; but now the President has confirmed that there are individuals and forces that want to destroy the country's democratic dispensation.
The President is admitting that neither the police force nor the intelligence services were prepared for this crisis. The FF Plus expects the President to take decisive action against the relevant ministers.
Earlier this week during talks between the President and various political leaders, the FF Plus expressed the opinion that it is not necessary to declare a state of emergency and it is good to hear that the President concurs with this view.
Better and more stringent policing as well as firm action by the defence force should be sufficient to defuse the unrest situation. The public has already demonstrated how quickly and efficiently they are able to stand together and implement precautionary measures to ensure their safety.
It is an irrefutable fact that the country is facing a crisis. It is time for the government to do the right thing for once by taking firm and severe action against those who plunged the country into this dire situation.
The FF Plus welcomes the fact that the President recognised the significant role Community Policing Forums are playing amid the looming anarchy. Proper and effective coordination between the police and civil safety and security structures, like farm and neighbourhood watches, must also be ensured.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 17 July 2021