Ntshavheni: Arson attacks & looting in KZN & Gauteng is economic sabotage

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni did not say who was behind what she had confirmed was 'economic sabotage'.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has confirmed that the arson, violence and looting gripping parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal was “economic sabotage”.

She said that there had been a further 208 incidents of vandalism and looting at shopping malls and centres overnight.

Ntshavheni said that there were 52 incidents in Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal, 156.

But she said that there were also reports that the deployment of extra police and soldiers was showing positive results, with the number of incidents beginning to abate.

Ntshavheni was giving an update on the continuing violence and looting gripping parts of the country.

The minister did not say who was behind what she had confirmed was “economic sabotage”.

“What I can confirm is that it is economic sabotage, it is violence but we are not at liberty to announce who is behind it because if we do that, we will jeopardise the investigation and successful prosecution of the cases.”

Ntshavheni said that 5,000 troops now had their boots on the ground in hotspots and were also protecting critical infrastructure such as fuel pipelines.

Business and law enforcement agencies were working on a plan for trucks to be escorted in convoy along the N3, the key transport route between Johannesburg and Durban harbour.

“We had agreed they (trucks) will be escorted as they move but it will mean they must move at particular times and under escort – those arrangements are under way.”

Ntshavheni said that the government was working with the National Consumer Goods Council to ensure food security after shops were looted or closed their shutters.

“There are also reports of panic buying by the public. We urge the public to remain calm and exercise restraint during these trying times.”

WATCH: 'There's enough food for everyone' - Ntshavheni reassures over SA's food security

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