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NPA Statement on Public Violence and Riots

NPA Statement on Public Violence and Riots

As South Africans, we have the right to voice our opinions and express our discontent through various lawful channels, including peaceful protest action. However, violent protests and criminal looting undermine the rule of law, and will damage our country’s economy and development prospects, at a very difficult time when we are in the grips of a debilitating third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and the leadership of the NPA are monitoring developments relating to the violent unrest and criminal looting in parts of the country.
The violence is not only criminal, it also destroys the livelihoods of many of our fellow South Africans, in particular the poor and most vulnerable, and will disproportionately affect women and children.
The NPA has confidence that law enforcement authorities and SANDF will appropriately address the situation and do what is necessary to prevent further violence and acts of criminality.
In particular, the focus must be on bringing to justice those responsible for incitement to commit acts of violence and other forms of criminal conduct.
The NPA is coordinating closely with relevant government departments to ensure full and transparent accountability for anyone accused of committing or inciting crimes linked to these violent protests and looting.
The Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions: Head of the National Prosecutions Service (NPS) has advised Directors of Public Prosecutions in affected Divisions to prioritise these matters, and to refer the cases to prosecutors with the requisite experience, who must work with and guide police in their investigations. Should any special arrangements need to be made with regard to courts, this will be discussed with the relevant stakeholders.
As Lawyers for the People of South Africa, the NPA will uphold the rule of law by ensuring that justice is delivered without fear, favour or prejudice. We urge our fellow South Africans to exercise restraint, to respect the rule of law, and to utilise lawful means to protest and make your voices heard; otherwise, nobody wins.
Ends
Issued by:
Adv Mthunzi Mhaga
NPA National Spokesperson
Cell: 083 641 8141

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