ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Thursday confirmed that the party was aware of messages making the rounds calling for a “second phase” of civil unrest in the country.
“Yesterday [Wednesday], another SMS came out [and] we are studying it. We understand that it is a call for a second phase of protest and hopefully the planners can now understand that it cannot continue in the manner that they wish to,” Duarte said.
She was speaking at a virtual media briefing hosted by the ANC to communicate the outcomes of its national working committee (NWC) meeting that met on Monday.
In July, parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) were rocked by violence and rampant looting that claimed the lives of more than 300 people and caused damage to infrastructure running into billions of rand.
Duarte said while the ANC agreed that the violence could have been triggered by the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma, there were also people who were trying to use his arrest to sow discord and unrest in the country.
“It is also disingenuous to make the former president of the country an scapegoat and use his name in this manner.”
Zuma is serving a 15-month jail sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KZN for being in contempt of the Constitutional Court.
‘Attempt to undermine our democracy’
Duarte condemned last month’s violence, saying it was a “malicious attempt to undermine our democracy as well as to create a spate of rolling mass action”.
“Such a plan has been thwarted but it does not mean that the people who are planning are not continuing to plan. They may have soften their approach, but they are certainly not stopping,” she said.
Duarte said the ANC was hoping that law-enforcement agencies would arrest the instigators behind the unrest, and “not just the seven that has thus far appeared in court”.