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Security forces on high alert amid threats of national shutdown

Staff Reporter

Law-enforcement agencies across the country are on high alert following growing threats of a national shutdown set for tomorrow.

A statement issued by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) on Sunday says measures have been put in place to ensure the safety and security of people in all parts of the country.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda said the NatJOINTS is aware of inflammatory messages on various social media platforms advocating for violence and warned those behind them to stop.

“Those behind these messages are warned that inciting violence is a criminal offence,” said Netshiunda in the statement.

He also cautioned members of the public against spreading such messages as they could land them in trouble.

Netshiunda however said not everyone is in support of the planned disturbances as people have started mobilising in response to the supposed shutdown.

“The public is urged not to respond to calls for violence and criminality, and are thus discouraged from participating in activities that seek to defy the rule of law and undermine the authority of the state,” he warned.

“We are calling on community police forums and related sub-forums to work with the police as they usually do, and to mobilise the community against any form of lawlessness.”

Law-abiding citizens should be at ease knowing that the NatJOINTS is not taking these threats lightly, he added.

“Security forces are on high alert and ready to maintain stability in the country, and ensure the safety and security of South Africans,” said Netshiunda.

Last month KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng descended into chaos after former president Jacob Zuma handed himself over to the Estcourt Correctional Centre to start serving a 15-month jail sentence.

Zuma’s supporters who were against his incarceration took to the streets but the protests soon degenerated into massive looting of businesses in the two provinces.

Billions worth of goods and property were lost in the unrest.

About 300 people are believed to have died in attacks that ensued as vigilante groups set out to do what they called protecting their communities and local businesses.

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