Cape Town – More than 5 500 South African soldiers and police officers are reportedly set to be deployed to Gauteng streets, as the security personnel gears up for a possible new wave of unrest.
According to News24, police had developed an operational plan amid threats of a national shutdown on Monday.
Resources were allocated to guard national key points, police stations, and prisons, the report said.
This comes as South Africa is still recovering from the violent and deadly spate of looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July.
A Daily Maverick report said the civic group “Citizens of South Africa” was behind the planned shutdown. They wanted to protest against several issues. The group also wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down, the report said.
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The protests were expected to take place in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Sedibeng and the West Rand, said the report, quoting a leaked South African Police Service (SAPS) operational overlay.
Logos of organisations such as the ANC, South African Communist Party, ANC Youth League, Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association and the South African National Civic Organisation appeared on posters for the planned shutdown, according to the SAPS brief, the report said.
On Sunday, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structrure (NatJoints) said it was aware of posts on social media calling for a national shutdown.
“Those behind these messages are warned that inciting violence is a criminal offence. Members of the public are cautioned against spreading such divisive messages.
“…”The public is urged not to respond to calls for violence and criminality, and are thus discouraged from participating in activities that seek to defy the rule of law and undermine the authority of the state,” NatJoints said
Meanwhile, EWN reported on Monday that KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala had denied claims about the possible shutdown of the province.
Zikalala said the talk of a potential disruption to services and business operations was just a baseless distraction.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu