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Unrest in Gauteng and KZN was a failed insurrection – ANC

By Baldwin Ndaba | IOL |

The ANC national working committee (NWC) has added its disgust at the unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July and labelled them as a failed insurrection against the government.

The unrest began in the form of protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma (Picture by Reuters)
The unrest began in the form of protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma (Picture by Reuters)

ANC acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte also admitted that some of the people linked to the violent protests were members of her party who allegedly used social media such as Twitter and Facebook to incite acts of violence.

“The NWC condemned the recent attempted counter-revolutionary violence and looting, which can be characterised as insurrection. These actions, focussed mainly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, resulted in more than 300 deaths, billions of rand of damage and destruction to infrastructure, social services, and business. It has disrupted the lives of citizens and their communities, their education, health, and economic activity – threatening thousands of jobs,” Duarte said.

She said these events were planned, instigated, and well-coordinated, saying the targeting of strategic links in the transport and logistical value chain, such as the N3 highway and the Durban port, were not coincidental.

“They wanted to cause food shortages as they also burned down warehouses for food,” she said.

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“It was calculated to cause maximum disruption to the economy and flows of essential goods such as food, fuel, and medicine. The events were preceded by a process of low-level mobilisation and preparation through meetings and social media, including the identification of targets that were indeed affected, as well as calls for the resignation of the NEC and the president.”

According to Duarte, her party’s NWC condemned the racial attacks and blockades inspired by vigilantes in a number of areas, including Phoenix.

“The NWC stressed the need to reaffirm the non-racial character of the ANC and its commitment to building cohesive society in a united, non-racial, non-sexist democratic and prosperous South African nation. The NWC commended the thousands of members of the police service and defence force whose deployment quelled the violence and brought peace and stability to affected communities,’ Duarte said.

She said taxi owners and drivers as well as ordinary citizens who stopped the chaos, acted within the law and the Constitution, often in the face of extreme provocation, to prevent loss of life and property, including during the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.

“The NWC expressed concern regarding the speed and coordination of the response and urged the government to attend to the capacity, resourcing, effectiveness, and accountability of the security services. The NWC commended the demonstration of lawful people’s power by citizens and organised civil society who rejected these counter-revolutionary actions, in words and actions, and rose in defence of their communities and our constitutional democracy.”

Duarte said the NWC was calling for unity and vigilance to counter the possibility of any further attempts at counter-revolutionary insurrection in light of ongoing mobilisation, including on social media.

“This includes acting decisively to investigate, arrest and prosecute the planners of the attempted insurrection, as well as addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality in our society. The ANC will act decisively against any of its members who have or continue to participate in these activities,” Duarte said.

She was reacting to a media release issued by former Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus and former ANC councillor Andile Lungisa and various other individuals in the provinces who are threatening to lay charges of genocide against President Ramaphosa and some of his Cabinet members as well as top officials in the army.