President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address a wary South Africa on Monday night, as violence gripped several parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng over the weekend and escalated in some areas on Monday.
The riots and looting have been linked to anger around the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma last week, however, there have been concerns raised that criminal elements and syndicates are taking advantage of the situation.
Read: SANDF to be deployed to violence stricken KwaZulu-Natal
“President Ramaphosa will address the nation later today, Monday, 12 July 2021, on government’s response to persistent public violence in parts of the country,” acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said in statement.
The exact time of the president’s address is yet to be confirmed, but it is likely to be around 20:00.
“The address will follow the announcement by the South African National Defence Force [SANDF] that it has commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures in line with a request for assistance received from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure [Natjoints],” Ntshavheni noted.
“The request entails SANDF support for police operations in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.”
“In terms of Section 201(2)(a) of the Constitution, the president may authorise the deployment of the national defence force in cooperation with the police service and must inform parliament of such employment,” she said.
Read: 6 dead in SA riots
Ntshavheni reiterated the president’s call for calm and warning that “criminal elements will face the full might of law”.
“The majority of South Africans do not and should not tolerate violence, the destruction of property and the endangering of livelihoods. People are urged to report criminals by sharing videos of criminal activity with the police,” she said.
“People are also asked to pay attention to what they post on social media and to be aware that the sharing of fake news or content that incites violence and looting is a crime.
“It is also a crime to possess, receive and use stolen goods, or to interfere with the police in their execution of their duties,” said Ntshavheni.