PRETORIA INTERVENES TO RESOLVE UNREST IN NORTH WEST PROVINCE

CAPE TOWN–The South African government has announced two measures aimed at restoring order and stability in several communities of North West Province where some quarters have called for the removal of the Premier, Supra Mahumapelo.

The two interventions are to despatch a task team of Cabinet Ministers to North West Province to establish the facts on the ground and invoking Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution to address the apparent crisis, particularly in the health sector..

The task team comprises the Ministers of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; Health; Finance; Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster of Ministers. They are expected to submit a report in the next two weeks. The report back will assist in determining any further interventions that may still be required, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane told the media here Thursday following the regular weekly Cabinet meeting.

The main objective of invoking of Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution is to restore trust and confidence between labour and government; assist the province to upgrade its systems and capabilities; ensure compliance with the legislative and regulatory framework of government; stabilise the labour environment, restore sustainable service delivery, ensure security of staff and improve financial management.

These interventions by the government follow continued tensions and violent protests in the province amid calls from some community members for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down. Criminal elements have infiltrated the protests, with vehicles being set alight, shops and buildings looted, private and government buildings broken into and vandalized.

There were reports on social media of shops being looted in places like Klerksdorp. Ambulances were also prevented from entering Tshepong Hospital.

According to National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla John Sitole, more than a 100 people were arrested in the provincial capital, Mahikeng, as well as in Mmabatho, Delareyville and Lomanyaneng on charges of malicious damage to property, public violence, possession of suspected stolen goods and business robbery.

“I am urging the communities of these affected areas, especially community leaders, to come together and work towards peace and stability through robust discussions and negotiations instead of violence. Since the outbreak of violence, I have instructed additional deployments of various disciplines of the SAPS to stabilise and normalise the affected areas,” Gen Sitole said.

These views were also expressed by Mokonyane, who strongly condemned the acts of violence, looting and destruction of property which accompanied protests in some areas of the province.

The arrested suspects, according to Gen Sitole, will be taken through the court processes and the South African Police Service (SAPS) will ensure that they face the full might of the law in an effort to bring this lawless behaviour to a complete halt. “Police will continue to enforce the law and bring to book those who continue to terrorise communities in these affected areas,” said General Sitole.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK