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Police on standby for possible unrest in KwaZulu-Natal

Police on standby for possible unrest in KwaZulu-Natal

Deputy minister of police Cassel Mathale told parliament on Wednesday that the police are on standby to deal with possible civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

This comes after several messages warning about possible unrest starting on Black Friday, 26 November, were circulated on social media via What’s App groups this week. The message threatened that there would be looting in some parts of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

However, the KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson cautioned the public against panicking as a result of the messages on social media.

“Please ignore messages circulating on WhatsApp or social media platforms that seek to create panic in the community and encourage people to participate in any form of criminality,” Naicker said.

“If there are any serious threats that we are aware of, we will issue an official statement and post such on this group,” he said.

Mathale told parliament in response to questions posed by IFP member of parliament, Narend Singh, that the police were aware of intelligence information of possible looting in KZN and that the government was sufficiently prepared to respond to the potential threats.

“It is true that we are aware of the possibilities of what might happen because we are working very closely with the intelligence community,” he said.

“We are sharing information with the state [security] agency and the defense and we are quite certain that we will be able to respond should something like this happen that we were not able to adequately respond to previously,” Mathale told parliament.

Mathale assured parliament that reinforcement police officers from other provinces were also on standby to respond if it was necessary to deploy additional officers to any affected areas.

“Yes indeed, the response to the previous riot left much (to be desired). We could have done more and out of that environment, we have learned our lessons,” he said.

Mathale said public order police (POP) officers had been receiving training in the SAPS academy and trained officers were being sent for refresher courses. He said measures had been implemented to ensure that adequate equipment and armoured vehicles would be ready for operational deployment if necessary.




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