GOVT CALLS FOR CALM AS VIOLENT PROTESTS BREAK OUT IN PRETORIA

The South African government has called for calm and for people to continue with their normal businesses in the wake of the violent protests in Pretoria and other parts of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality of which Pretoria is the main city,

At a media briefing by Ministers from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster of the Cabinet here Tuesday, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the government is responding adequately to the situation.

“We have noted the criminal elements who have taken advantage of the situation by disrupting the socio-economic activities which has led to the closure of certain businesses.

No public space will be turned into a no-go area. Government reiterates that any form of intimidation or looting by protestors will not be tolerated,” she said.

She said the government is closely monitoring the situation. The protests erupted in the national administrative capital on Monday and several buses were torched overnight in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria. In Atteridgeville, two trucks and a bus were also set alight while shops were looted.

A delegation comprising State Security Minister David Mahlobo, Mapisa-Nqakula and Gauteng Province Premier David Makhura and senior government officials earlier visited Atteridgeville, Hammanskraal and Mamelodi.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa warned that violence and lawlessness would not be tolerated. Speaking after a meeting of the Presidential Labour Working Group here earlier Tuesday, he said: “The law enforcement agencies will be after those that are perpetuating violence. If there are issues that need to be resolved that can be done peacefully.”

Violent protests erupted in Tshwane on Monday evening. Protesters burned buses, barricaded streets with burning tyres, pelted passing motorists with stones and looted shops. Many commuters struggled to get to work on Tuesday morning.

The Deputy President urged residents to use peaceful means to have their grievances addressed. He added that the protests were against the values deeply embedded in the Constitution.

Source: Nam News Network