“You Are Warned Not to Step Out of Line”: A Stern Warning From Security Chiefs Amid Mthatha Unrest

“You Are Warned Not to Step Out of Line”: A Stern Warning From Security Chiefs Amid Mthatha Unrest

  • Ahead of the elections, security chiefs from NATJOINTS have issued a stern warning against incitement of violence and the spread of fake news
  • Deputy National Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Tebello Mosikili emphasised heightened police visibility and strict monitoring of online activity
  • Citizens are urged to verify the information before sharing and refrain from disruptive behaviour

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Reitumetse Makwea, a current affairs journalist with Briefly News from Pretoria, Gauteng. She brings over five years of expertise to the newsroom, specializing in political reporting, crime, and community safety initiatives.

Police warn SA against unrest
Violence erupted in Mthatha, Eastern Cape this morning, after the SAPS warned against any unrest ahead of elections. Images: @EFFEASTERNCAPE
Source: Twitter

Violence erupted during a taxi blockade of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Monday.

As the nation braces for its upcoming elections, security chiefs from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) have issued a stark warning to the public:

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"You are warned not to step out of line."

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This message comes amid heightened concerns over potential threats to peace and stability during this critical period.

Mthatha unrest before elections

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has outlined a zero-tolerance approach to any incitement of violence, disruption, or attempts to undermine their efforts to ensure stability.

With the country on the edge, the directive aims to reassure citizens that security forces are fully prepared to maintain order and arrest instigators of violence.

In Mthatha, Eastern Cape, the casting of special votes was disrupted on Monday when discontented taxi operators blocked key city routes.

This action halted travel, leading to the looting of freight trucks, with at least one being set on fire. See the post below:

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EFF worried about the sudden unrest

The EFF noted its concern; in a statement on X, the party said that despite the closure of the voting stations, a truck which was carrying Voters’ Rolls and T-shirts of the EFF was stopped and looted as part of the Taxi's violent strike.

See the post below:

Law enforcement issues stern warning

According to SowetanLIVE, Deputy National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili emphasised that security teams are on high alert following a series of incidents that have raised alarm across various regions.

"Our teams are at a sensitive and critical stage of their operations."

Mosikili highlighted the necessity for increased police visibility and the deployment of additional personnel nationwide.

In her speech, Mosikili also seized the opportunity to warn responsible citizens, especially those active on social media, against spreading misinformation.

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"Everyone is encouraged to verify facts before sharing information, as this often prevents unnecessary confusion and panic."

The deputy commissioner underscored that the dissemination of fake news can have serious consequences, exacerbating tensions and potentially inciting violence.

The warning extends to online behaviour, with Mosikili confirming that intelligence and cybercrime units vigilantly monitor digital platforms.

"We will not tolerate any incitement of violence on any platform. Our intelligence and cybercrime units are closely monitoring online activity. Consider this a warning to stay within the bounds of the law."

South Africans are not shocked

Following the warning about a possible arrest during elections. South Africans argue that the timing of the unrest ahead of elections is sabotage.


"Mthatha is a no man's land....that's probably the most lawless town in SA."


"They are very much aware, but this has turned out to be a gangster's paradise; law enforcement does not exist here."

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"It’s giving July Unrest, I wonder what it will be like on 29 May."

Warning of possible unrest during elections is just a routine risk assessment

Previously, Briefly News reported that FirstRand Banking Group noted a leaked memo warning of potential social unrest ahead of the 2024 elections as a routine risk assessment, not a forecast.

The memo highlights medium-risk security notices and potential protest actions by the MK Party linked to dissatisfaction over former President Zuma's ineligibility.

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Source: Briefly News

Reitumetse Makwea avatar

Reitumetse Makwea (Editor) Reitumetse Makwea is a Current Affairs journalist at Briefly News. She has a National diploma, Advanced diploma and Post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. She first worked as a student journalist and freelancer for Caxton's Record Noweto and later joined The Citizen News, where she worked for a little over 3 years covering politics, environmental news, business, education, and health. Reitumetse joined Briefly News in 2024. Email: reitumetse.makwea@briefly.co.za

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