1 minute read
23 Aug 2021
8:00 am

Handle insurrectionists with an iron fist


Any threat of unrest – which can cost the country billions, lost lives and lost jobs – should be handled in the same way as any threat of terrorism.

A security officer walks through an entrance at Ndofaya Mall in Meadowlands, Soweto, under a gate with the words "Free Zuma" spray-painted on, during a clean-up operation, 20 July 2021, after rampant looting last week. Ten people died in a stampede at the shopping centre. Picture: Michel Bega

Thanks to their monitoring of social media and WhatsApp groups, the cops and the military have supposedly deployed units to potential trouble spots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. This they have now done, but were apparently unable to do in July. And that gives rise to an interesting, albeit troubling, question about the behaviour of the ministers in our security cluster: Did they do nothing for days because they were incompetent, or because they were sympathetic to the insurrectionists and waiting to see which way the wind would blow? The wind didn’t blow the way the plotters hoped it would, though,...