The African National Congress (ANC) has sent some of its National Executive Committee (NEC) members to KwaZulu -Natal (KZN) in an attempt to restore calm in the province as violent protests persist.
This was announced on Monday by the party’s Deputy Secretary-General Jesse Duarte in a media briefing on the outcomes of the recent NEC meeting.
Duarte said some of the party’s NEC members would be deployed to Gauteng as protests have also reached the province.
“We have dispatched members of the NEC to KZN and some are working in Gauteng,” said Duarte.
Duarte said the party acknowledged the ongoing protests may have been sparked by the incarceration of Former President Jacob Zuma but said they have since escalated to sheer criminal activities
“While reaffirming our respect for the constitution and the rule of law we acknowledge that his imprisonment is a source of the tension for some of our members. We nevertheless urge members to remain calm and desist from acts which divide and weaken our organisation.”
“While these actions are being characterised by some people as a form of political protests, they are now clearly sheer criminal activities.”
She said the party would never tolerate attempts to respond to judicial or legal processes by threats and acts of violence, further reiterating calls to law enforcement agencies to deal with looting and criminality and the instigators of such acts and ensure they are brought to book.
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The party has made calls to religious leaders, trade unions, civil society and South Africans to condemn looting, saying that it will have a devastating effects on the economy.
“The current violence in part of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng is having damaging effects on the economy of the country and livelihoods. A number of business organisations have registered their concerns with the widespread vandalism and destruction although there may be opportunistic adventurous acts driven by hardship and poverty, the poor and the marginalised will bear the brunt of this looting and destruction as critical public services are affected and jobs are lost,” said Duarte.