- President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Friday night as the violent protest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal subsides
- Ramaphosa promised to hold those accountable for what he called a direct attack on the democracy of South Africa
- He said that measures are being put in place to assist those affected by the violence and admitted that the government was not prepared for the scale of these protests
A battle South Africa can not afford to lose
The president said that the violent protests were nothing short of an attempted attack on the democratic institutions of the country.
He said that it is a battle that the country cannot afford to lose. He urged South Africans to unite and rebuild.
"When we look back on this moment, let us say we faced a great threat and we defeated it."
Ramaphosa promises to hold those responsible for the violence accountable
"We will extinguish the fires, and we will stamp out every ember of this fire. We will act against those who lit the flame and those who spread it."
The president promised to hold those responsible for lighting and spreading the flames of insurrection accountable.
"We will never allow any group to challenge the democracy... While our security forces are establishing control on the ground, the effects of this will be felt by all South Africans."
He said that the violent protests were a well-orchestrated and organised attempt to cripple the economy of the country, cause instability and topple the democratically elected government.
He said that the protest was a deliberate attack on the economy and the ability of the state to provide services to the people.
Those behind the attacks used fake news on social media to manipulate the poor and vulnerable and launch a popular insurrection in South Africa.
"Through fake news and misinformation, they have sought to inflame violence. They have sought to manipulate the poor and vulnerable for their own benefit... this attempted insurrection has failed to get support among our people... it has failed because South Africans have rejected it."
Ramaphosa said that the plan had failed and South Africans had proved too resilient and united. Those living in the affected areas have taken to the streets to rebuild and clean up the area.
At least 212 people have lost their lives and police are investigating 131 cases of murder with 81 inquest documents opened.
The protests have cost billions in an estimate and at least 161 malls, 11 warehouses and 8 factories were damaged. 161 liquor outlets and distributors were attacked. This does not include the damage inflicted on roads and infrastructure.
Government was not prepared for the violent protests
Ramaphosa admitted that the government was not prepared for the scale of the violence that swept across parts of the country.
As a result, 25 000 SANDF troops have been deployed to restore order and protect food and fuel supplies.
Food and fuel supplies are not in short supply
The president said that most of the country was not affected by the protests and food and fuel supplies were not in short supply. He warned people against unnecessary panic buying.
The N3 has reopened allowing the flow of critical supplies into areas where violent protests have disrupted access to essentials.
State of emergency was not necessary
Ramaphosa said that a state of emergency was not necessary until all solutions have been attempted.
Ramaphosa promises aid to those affected
The president has promised that the government will provide food relief to households affected by the violent protests.
Those in Ulundi who face a food shortage have been assured that the government is attending to the situation.
Areas that were targeted by the protests will be assisted through measures such as food vouchers, food parcels and cash donations.
Former SSA intelligence official Thulani Dlomo denies being an instigator
After multiple reports by news outlets alleging that former State Security Agency intelligence officer Thulani Dlomo was identified as one of the 12 instigators of the violent protests that led to looting and destruction of infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, Dlomo denies all involvement.
News24 broke the news that three reliable and well-placed sources confirmed to the publication that Dlomo's name was handed over to the police for investigation earlier this week.
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