The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) on Sunday said law enforcement agencies are on high alert “amid threats of a ‘national shutdown’ on 23 August 2021”.
Authorities have put measures in place to ensure the safety and security of South Africans, the statement adds.
National shutdown: What we know
Inflammatory messages on social media
The NatJOINTS say they are aware of “inflammatory messages on social media platforms advocating for violence”, and warn that inciting violence is a criminal offence.
Major General Mathapelo Peters warns the public to refrain from spreading divisive messages and inciting violence on social media platforms.
“Equally, a different set of messages is also doing the rounds where people are mobilising to respond to the supposed shutdown”.
Earlier this month, a document from intelligence officials reportedly outlined measures by police to quell planned attacks on law-enforcement entities and public infrastructure on Monday, 23 August.
The document, seen by Netwerk24, warned of a possible flare-up of violence and looting targeting police stations, military bases and other premises where law-enforcement officials work.
Rumours suggest the second national shutdown is meant to make the country ungovernable, but it was unclear why the attack was being planned for 23 August.
Don’t defy rule of law
Members of the public should refrain from “responding to calls for violence and criminality, and are discouraged from participating in activities that seek to defy the rule of law”.
“Law-abiding citizens should be at ease knowing that the NatJOINTS is not taking these threats lightly.”
Moreover, all South Africans are called on to adhere to Covid-19 regulations. The country is still on adjusted alert level three, which means outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 persons.