Zimbabwe has urged the South African government not to resort to the use of force to quell protests and looting that erupted last week in the country’s Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces before spreading to other parts of the country.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana said South Africa stands at a crossroads but should resolve its issues peacefully. He tweeted:
Our thoughts and prayers go to our brothers and sisters in SA during this time of Crisis where the nation stands at crossroads.
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South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday night said he would mobilise all available resources and capabilities to restore order in the country.
This came after the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed that it had deployed soldiers to support the police to quell the violent looting, a move that had been criticised by the country’s opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
According to IOL, South Africa’s Small Business Institute (SBI) on Tuesday strongly condemned the wanton looting of businesses, destruction of vital economic infrastructure, burning of trucks and blockading of roads. It said:
We also call on law enforcement agencies to urgently protect lives, property and businesses which have become the main target of the ongoing violence.
Whilst our Constitution guarantees the right of every South African to protest, we find the violence visited on ordinary people, property, trucks and business premises completely indefensible.
We are shocked and concerned that law enforcement agencies, especially intelligence services, have allowed the situation to develop for weeks ahead of the Constitutional Court judgment on June 29 2021.
The response has been slow, fragmented and woefully inadequate.
Sporadic protests erupted in KZN after former president Jacob Zuma was jailed for contempt of court. The protests have, however, degenerated into an orgy of violence and looting of shops.