What you said: Citizens did more than security forces to protect SA during the unrest

21 July 2021 - 08:00
Authorities inspect the aftermath of rioting in KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.
Authorities inspect the aftermath of rioting in KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.

Community members did more to quell tensions during the unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the past week than law enforcement, say TimesLIVE readers.

The country was thrust into violence, protests, looting of businesses and destruction of property last week. The first demonstrations were in KZN after the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. His supporters were calling for his release from the Estcourt Correctional Centre where he is serving his 15-month sentence.

The demonstrations later spread to Gauteng, triggering wide-ranging criticism of the government for its perceived failure to swiftly deploy law enforcement to restore and maintain calm and order. 

A total of 55% of participants in our poll said anti-looting community members did more to quell the violence, 40% said they hadn’t noticed any law enforcement or security forces on the ground, and 5% said the military “did what was needed”.

No new incidents have been reported in both provinces and businesses that were not completely vandalised in Gauteng were operational on Monday, said acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

The minister said the police had apprehended six suspected instigators. Three of the suspects would hear their bail applications later in the week, and one suspect was granted bail. 

“The N2 and N3 routes reopened for traffic. To date, no incidents have been reported since the reopening. The law enforcement agencies, including the military, continue to patrol the routes, conduct roadblocks and identify potential hotspot areas, as agreed with industry,” said Ntshavheni.

Here is a snapshot of what readers said on social media: