Minister Fritz welcomes 45 arrests of those committing public violence
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomes the 45 arrests of persons inciting public violence during protest action yesterday. Minister Fritz again calls on residents in the Western Cape to remain calm, refrain from public violence and adhere to the lockdown regulations, amidst threats of protest action.
Acts of public violence included stone throwing, tire burning, road barricades and a petrol bomb. In total, there were 45 arrests made on Monday. Of which:
• 7 were made in Steenberg and Bishop Lavis;
• 12 were made in Bellville South; and
• 26 were made in Mamre and Atlantis.
Over the past week there have been several protests concerning service delivery, housing, the safety of farmers and the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. Whilst some of have been peaceful, others have not and have led to destruction of property, both state and private, physical assault, barricading of roads, burglary, looting liquor stores, land invasions and stone throwing.
Minister Fritz said, “I condemn public violence in the strongest terms. Acts of public violence amount to vandalism and thuggery, which seek to further disrupt and destroy already vulnerable communities. I question the motives behind these acts of violence and call on communities to stand united against self-appointed leaders, who do not have the wellbeing of the community at heart.”
Minister Fritz continued, “The destruction of public property impacts our poor and vulnerable residents the most and cannot be justified in a Constitutional Democracy. It is evident that a smaller group of inciters are leading these protests and pretending to speak for the masses. In doing so, they are preying on the plight of the most vulnerable in society who will suffer the infrastructure and services lost due to protest action. We must stand together and condemn such conduct whenever it occurs.”
Minister Fritz continued, “On Friday, I raised the matter of SAPS’ disproportionate response to protest action in the CBD with the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, whereby peaceful protests were met by stun grenades and water cannons. It is essential that SAPS’ Public Order Policing’s (POP) protocol be urgently reviewed by SAPS to ensure that their response is adequate and proportional to the threat experienced.”
Anyone who has knowledge of incidents of public violence and the conveners of such must immediately come forward and report such to their local SAPS. Alternatively, you can 08600 10111 or send a tip-off using the MySAPS cellphone applications.
The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela said, “While we respect and uphold the right of individuals to protest, we cannot condone lawlessness including damage to property. Since the news of the planned strike broke, our traffic officers were deployed in concentrated locations to ensure that our roads are safe. I strongly condemn these acts of violence, which are both criminal and act as an obstruction to economic development in our province.
Source: Government of South Africa