Public Violence, Destruction and Risk to Life Condemned
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
I strongly condemn the level of public violence, destruction and the risk to life which has gripped different communities in the province over recent days.
Though the Western Cape Government recognises and respects individuals’ rights and freedoms to demonstrate and raise their concerns peacefully on legitimate grievances, the level of violence that has accompanied recent protests have to be condemned.
At least three incidents of public violence occurred in the province, two of which have seen successful arrests made by the South African Police Service (SAPS). I welcome the SAPS’ swift and professional response in dealing with violent public protest and call on the SAPS to continue to arrest those who choose to break the law.
Media reports have indicated how recent protests have involved the burning down of public property, have prevented communities from accessing medical care and have risked the lives of innocent people.
No one wins when infrastructure and equipment meant for the use of the public is destroyed, or when fellow community members in need are prevented from accessing basic medical care.
Members of our communities have to know that when the break the law the SAPS will have to respond as they have a constitutional mandate to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order and to protect and secure inhabitants of the Republic and their property.
We all have a responsibility to create safer environments for ourselves and those around us.
I call on the public to desist from violence and destruction and rather to engage directly with the various spheres of government and departments involved in order to address their concerns. I also call on the public to be vigilant and dismiss false information being deliberately spread to aggravate and mobilise people unnecessarily.
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