Violence, criminality, looting: Time for decisive action – SACP

Party says there can be no justification whatsoever for these and other criminal acts

SACP strongly condemns acts of violence, criminality, looting;

4 September 2019

The South African Communist Party (SACP) strongly condemns the acts of violence, looting and other criminal activities perpetrated in the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as elsewhere in the country, regardless of the nationality of those involved and affected. Several shops belonging to foreign nationals, mostly, as well as South Africans, were looted in Gauteng Province and others burnt this week and the week before by lumpen elements. Others have used trucks to erect blockades in certain areas of our national roads infrastructure network in KwaZulu-Natal Province, thus clearly engaging in acts of sabotage. There can be no justification whatsoever for these and other criminal acts, regardless of what the underlying causes are.

State organs established to combat crime and corruption must decisively enforce the rule of law and accordingly deal with acts of criminality and corruption, regardless of the nationality of the lumpen elements, gangs and syndicates involved.  

Drug dealing, human trafficking and abduction, in particular but not exclusively of young women who are then subjected to forced sex work and other forms of gender based violence, are among other acts of criminality destroying our youth, their future and that of our society at large. The unabated prevalence of these acts of criminality and violence, including but not limited to high rate of murder – for example in the Western Cape, the wider scourge of gender based violence including femicide, attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of public infrastructure, among others, is indicative of virtual functional collapse of law enforcement agencies to successfully combat crime and corruption.

The erosion of the capacity, strategic discipline and authority of the state, allowing what we are presently witnessing in our country to take place unabated, is a direct consequence of state capture. There is a general outcry in many communities about the failure of state organs established to combat crime and corruption. As a result, there are rising levels of mistrust and lack of confidence in our law enforcement agencies.   

Therefore unless drastic action is taken, starting at the highest levels responsible for state capture, it will remain almost impossible to restore the integrity and legitimacy of the affected state organs, and to rebuild their capacity and strategic discipline to perform their work competently and meticulously without favour, fear and prejudice. The SACP therefore reiterates its call for a thorough, specialised investigation into the manifestation and impact of state capture in, and criminal infiltration of state organs established to combat crime and corruption.

The SACP further calls upon all people who live in South Africa to desist from taking the law into their own hands. Instead, we need to forge a widest possible patriotic front to defend our Constitution and democracy, and to work together in programmes such as the SACP initiated campaign against violence in general and gender based violence in particular.

In economic terms, the aftermath of the endemic crisis of capitalism and the failure of the capitalist system needs a thorough and urgent attention in economic policy and broader social transformation. We cannot do the same things over and over again and hope to achieve different outcomes.

The reality is that the persisting high levels of class inequality, unemployment and poverty are the direct results of the failure and endemic crisis of capitalism. South Africa is not the only country affected. The entire African continent is affected. What happens in one country on the continent affects the others. At the global level, the prevailing atmosphere is characterised by capitalist economic crisis and its aftermath – with serious political and wider social implications, including the heightened imperialist aggression.

Therefore, what we need is to forge working class unity and solidarity in South Africa, Southern Africa, on the African continent and across the world. We must push the just struggle for a system change and complete social emancipation.

Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson & Head of Communications, SACP, 4 September 2019