Government concerned about violent protests in Mahikeng

Friday, April 20, 2018

Government has expressed concern over the protest action in Mahikeng in the North West Province which has been accompanied by violence, looting and destruction of property.

Government says all acts of violence are unacceptable and that all stakeholders involved are urged to engage in discussion and resolve issues peacefully.

“Government has always been of the view that dialogue must prevail at all times and stakeholders must use the appropriate platforms to raise their concerns.

“History has taught us that we are a nation that resolves issues through dialogue. The planned protests signal a democracy in action. However, whilst it is within the Constitutional rights of those embarking on protest action, it must be done within the confines of the law,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting Director-General, Phumla Williams.

“Government has a responsibility to protect property and people who do not wish to participate in protests against intimidation and/or threats of violence.  Violence, damage to property and infringing on others rights and free movement will not be tolerated by law enforcement agencies.

“Those found guilty of acts of violence will face the might of the law. Government calls on all parties concerned to reach an amicable and speedy resolution,” Williams said.

Government remains hopeful that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the area on Friday will allow for dialogue which will ultimately lead to a sustainable solution.

“We call on communities to support interventions by government aimed at providing lasting solutions to the concerns raised by the community.

“The Back to Basics approach will ensure that all municipalities perform their basic functions without compromise. We need partnerships between government, citizens and civil society to better deal with issues that affect people on a daily basis,” said Williams. –

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