- Premier in the Eastern Cape province Oscar Mabuyane is on edge following the purported circulation of messages calling for unrest in the province
- The messages come as Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal reel in the wake of days of widespread public violence and looting by pro-Jacob Zuma supporters
- Mabuyane has since urged the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to be on alert in the event of any unrest in the province
Amid looming threats of civil unrest in the Eastern Cape, premier Oscar Mabuyane has put out a call that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) be on alert in the province.
This after seeing messages from people trying to mobilise residents and orchestrate incidents of violence, according to EWN, where Mabuyane said that he was extremely concerned about the looting and riots playing out elsewhere.
Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have seen days of widespread public violence and looting by pro-Jacob Zuma supporters in response to the imprisonment of the former president.
Addressing the nation on Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to protect citizens against the threat of violence, intimidation, theft and looting. The president gave an update on strides made by police in arresting those deemed to be involved in various criminal acts.
In Gauteng, which has also experienced the blocking of roads and burning of trucks, more than 300 suspects have been arrested while more than 160 have been nabbed in KZN.
With looming threats of similar unrest in the Eastern Cape, Mabuyane confirmed that law enforcement is investigating the origin of the messages, a report by TimesLIVE noted.
"I have asked national government to put soldiers who are based in our province on high alert for deployment to support our police officers if the need arises.
"The soldiers are the defenders of innocent people against anarchists and will assist the police to prevent [the] destruction of public and private property," Mabuyane said.
He urged citizens of the province to resist being recruited to join the looting of businesses and destruction of property while commending the taxi industry and citizens who have used social media to dissuade others from partaking in criminal acts.
"We urge you to report to law enforcement authorities any attempts to fuel violent protests in communities.
“We urge civic organisations, the business sector, the religious sector ... and leaders of political parties to also take a stand and be on the ground to quell any attempts to cause anarchy in all regions in our province," added Mabuyane.
'Action will be taken to protect every person in this country'
As recently reported by Briefly News, Ramaphosa has acknowledged the destruction which has been caused to property, the looting of shops and businesses, and the reports of threats against law-abiding citizens.
"Even as we know the high cost of this violence to property, to livelihoods and to businesses, the loss of human life is the greatest cost of all," said Ramaphosa.
"Many South Africans are at this hour counting the cost to their livelihoods and property, to their shops and businesses, to their safety and security. Many more South Africans are feeling anxious and afraid.
"Let me be clear: we will take action to protect every person in this country against the threat of violence, intimidation, theft and looting," the president declared.
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