Minister Fritz calls for calm amidst protest action
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, calls on residents in the Western Cape to remain calm, refrain from public violence and adhere to the lockdown regulations, amidst threats of protest action.
Over the past week there have been several protests concerning service delivery, housing, the safety of farmers and the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. Whilst some of have been peaceful, others have not and have led to destruction of property, both state and private, physical assault, barricading of roads, burglary, looting liquor stores, land invasions and stone throwing.
Minister Fritz said, “The destruction of public property impacts our poor and vulnerable residents the most and cannot be justified in a Constitutional Democracy. It is evident that a smaller group of inciters are leading these protests and pretending to speak for the masses. In doing so, they are preying on the plight of the most vulnerable in society who will suffer the infrastructure and services lost due to protest action. We must stand together and condemn such conduct whenever it occurs.”
Minister Fritz added, “I have been informed that the SAPS in the Western Cape have mobilised safety resources to prevent lawlessness. SAPS, Metro Police and traffic services are on high alert. The Provincial SAPS have issued a stern warning to all communities to adhere to the rule of law, noting that gatherings are still prohibited under lockdown. Further, that public violence is an offence punishable by law.”
Minister Fritz continued, “On Friday, I raised the matter of SAPS’ disproportionate response to protest action in the CBD with the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, whereby peaceful protests were met by stun grenades and water cannons. It is essential that SAPS’ Public Order Policing’s (POP) protocol be urgently reviewed by SAPS to ensure that their response is adequate and proportional to the threat experienced.”
At 7:20am today, five arrests were made in Steenberg and Jakes Gerwal Road in Bishop Lavis due to burning tires and road barricades. There have also been reports of stone throwing.
Minister added, “I call on anyone who has any knowledge of public violence and the conveners of such to immediately come forward and report such to their local SAPS. Alternatively, you can 08600 10111. Nobody has the right threaten the lives and livelihoods of others.”
Please see English audio clip here: https://clyp.it/ujel41qm
Cayla Ann Tomás Murray
Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz
Tel: 021 483 8550
Cell: 064 121 7959