Liquor stores were targeted in the Johannesburg CBD on Sunday. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ African News Agency (ANA)
Liquor stores were targeted in the Johannesburg CBD on Sunday. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ African News Agency (ANA)

Call up SANDF, reconvene parliament to stop ’free-for-all looting spree’ – Steenhuisen

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jul 12, 2021

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DA leader John Steenhuisen has urged the government to stop dithering and put a stop to the ’’free-for-all looting spree’’, which first unfolded in KwaZulu-Natal and has now spread to other provinces.

Slamming President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reluctance to deal decisively with the ANC’s internal war, Steenhuisen said in a statement on Monday that ’’credible domestic intelligence would have predicted this outcome, not to mention the fact that much of it was announced and widely encouraged on social media’’.

’’What we are seeing now from law enforcement is a frantic and unco-ordinated response to the violence, as opposed to a focused approach based on intelligence.

’’We cannot afford any more of the dithering and hesitancy that put us in this situation in the first place. Reluctance to deal decisively with the ANC’s internal war has now seen this morph into a free-for-all looting spree.

’’’It is critical that government and law enforcement get ahead of this curve, and that President Ramaphosa takes immediate steps to quell the violence and looting.

The DA called on Ramaphosa to:

  • Authorise the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), in a supplementary role to the South African Police Service (SAPS), in targeted areas to assist with tasks such as access control and the opening of transport routes. Our Constitution allows for such a deployment.
  • Call for an urgent meeting with all party leaders to discuss the crisis, followed by a joint statement setting out the planned response as well as a call for law and order from all South Africans.
  • Call for an urgent meeting of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) to devise a strategy to deal with the volatile situation and prevent the violence and lawlessness from spreading to more areas.

’’Reconvene Parliament, today still, to discuss the role of the SANDF, as well as issues such as the allocation of further budget for the deployment of police reservists in support of SAPS and the Public Order Policing Unit,’’ said Steenhuisen.

’’The president’s solemn words of condemnation in his televised address last night, along with his promises that those breaking the law will face consequences, are not enough. He needs to back these words up with decisive action, and he needs to do so today still.’’


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