Government condemns violent acts against law enforcement

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster, on behalf of government, has condemned in the strongest terms the acts of violence and criminality that occurred in Johannesburg’s Central Business District.

Police were attacked during a raid to seize counterfeit goods on Thursday.

“The shocking and appalling behaviour by the unruly mob, who tried to stop law enforcement agencies from carrying out their duties, will not be tolerated. An attack on law enforcement agencies is an attack on the State, and government views this in the most serious light.

“Blatant disregard for our law threatens national security and the sovereignty of our nation.

“Every citizen and foreign national must be aware that government will not tolerate lawlessness, criminality and illegal violent protests. South Africa is governed by the rule of law and government views such criminal activities as an attack on the state and abuse of democratic rights,” said government in a statement on Friday.

As a constitutional democracy, South Africa is governed by laws and as such, everyone working and living in the country is expected to be doing so legally and in accordance with South Africa’s laws.

“No person, under any circumstances, has the right to attack officials discharging their duties. The country’s law enforcement will act decisively and not allow lawlessness and anarchy to prevail. Those found guilty will face the full might of the law,” the statement read.

The chairperson of the JCPS Cluster, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said: “The blatant attack on police in the line of duty and the vandalism and destruction of property, especially during a crackdown on counterfeit goods, will not be allowed to continue.

“The sale of counterfeit goods negatively affects South Africa’s economy, and the consequence of not taking action against the sale of counterfeit goods results in loss in sales and profits of genuine goods and brands, and could pose health risks to ordinary consumers.

“Crime prevention is a priority of government and we call on society to continue strengthening collective efforts to reduce crime in South Africa. This will assist in ensuring that lawlessness is not tolerated in our country.”

The Justice Crime Prevention and Safety Cluster said it will continue to stamp the authority of the State and will liaise with Department of International Relations and Cooperation to engage embassies to encourage their citizens to respect the laws of South Africa. 

Government commend the men and women in blue who were on the ground enforcing the law, in spite of violent attacks against them. Police Minister Bheki Cele and Gauteng Premier David Makhura met this afternoon to make an assessment of the situation. –