Explainer: Briefly Takes a Look at the Impact of a State of Emergency in South Africa

Explainer: Briefly Takes a Look at the Impact of a State of Emergency in South Africa

  • There have been growing calls for a State of Emergency in South Africa.
  • This follows violent riots and looting across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
  • The SANDF was recently deployed to assist with the protests but the violence continues.
  • Briefly News takes a look at what a State of Emergency will mean for the country.

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According to the Government Gazette's State of Emergency Act of 1997; when the life of the nation is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency and the declaration is necessary to restore peace and order.

State of Emergency, Explainer, what it means for the country
Briefly News takes a look at what a State of Emergency would mean for the country. Image: Thierry Monasse
Source: Getty Images

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1. What is a State of Emergency?

A state of emergency is an act that can be put in by the Government that allows the President to implement regulations deemed necessary for the restoration of peace and order.

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2. What authority does a State of Emergency give the South African President?

The President has the power to both implement new regulations as well as suspend regulations already implemented under the basis that it is necessary for the restoration of peace and order. This allows for law enforcement agencies to implement their own regulations.

3. What limitations do the President and others have to follow during a State of Emergency.

A State of Emergency can only be implemented provided  that the life of the nation is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency and the implementation is deemed the only possible route to the restoration of peace and order

A state of emergency still  forbids the targeting of individuals and the opposing of rights linked to race, colour, ethnic or social origin, sex, religion or language,

4. What disadvantages can be extracted from the implementation of a State of Emergency during civil unrest?

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The implementation of a state of emergency may lead to the further decay of the opinion of the Government which in turn could lead to further negative connotations, rebelling and disorder while the authority given to others such as police officers and soldiers could lead to the assault of members of the public.

5. How long can a country be in a state of emergency

A state of emergency is valid for 21 days at which an extension would only be granted after a parliamentary vote however the extension may not push the state of emergency for longer than 3 month.

For those readers who would like to personally read and dissect the State of Emergency A ct a copy can be found here.

Shutdown videos on social media could possibly be misleading

Previously, Briefly News reported that several videos doing the rounds on social media amid rolling unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have been deemed false and misleading by Africa Check.

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The non-profit organisation, whose work is to promote accuracy in public debate and the media in Africa, has identified at least three such videos and a voice note that are factually inaccurate.

Social media has been flooded with videos claiming to depict the protests as Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal reel from days of widespread looting and public violence.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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