Ramaphosa holds wide consultations over violence, protests and unrest

Ramaphosa holds wide consultations over violence, protests and unrest

President Cyril Ramaphosa has embarked on consultations with different leaders of society to develop a response to the violence and destruction in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

President Ramaphosa

The protests initially erupted in KwaZulu-Natal six days ago in reaction to former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest and on the day he started a 15-month jail sentence.

The chaotic protests then spread to Gauteng and morphed into widespread looting and criminality.   

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, says in a statement the outreach supplements the mobilisation of the police, SANDF and other law enforcement bodies to prevent public violence, loss of life and damage to property.

 “The President, accompanied by several Ministers, met with religious leaders from the different faith communities. The leaders expressed support for the government’s efforts in bringing stability to a number of areas where incidents of interest is taking place. 

READ: Newly opened Reservoir Hills business looted, torched

"The religious leaders expressed support for the deployment of the SANDF to support the police in stabilising the situation, and also called for a comprehensive response to the societal conditions enabling the events unfolding around the country." 

She says Ramaphosa will consult with leaders of political parties on Wednesday morning.

“Government leaders are also engaging with informal and small business associations, community leaders, traditional leaders and others, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

"In this evening’s meeting, religious leaders urged government to consider allowing communities of faith to gather for worship, while observing COVID-19 health regulations, as part of the national effort to restore calm and provide counselling to communities.

"President Ramaphosa welcomed the concern expressed by interfaith leaders in events in the country and welcomed a proposal for a national day of prayer.” she said.

Ntshavheni says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is putting together a team of special prosecutors who have been instructed to oppose bail for suspects associated with public violence and economic sabotage.

READ: BASA calls on govt to declare state of emergency

 “The law enforcement agencies have also been tasked to enforce the Disaster Management Act Regulations, especially ensuring observance of the curfew which is from 9pm to 4am daily.”

New Newswatch podcast banner yellow

Show's Stories