Under-resourced SAPS, SANDF tried their best to stop riots, looting - ISS

There are fears that South Africa's security forces were caught flat-footed during the deadly violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as a result of the "complete collapse of intelligence", a financially rundown military and a challenged police service.

A police officer watches firefighters extinguish a building following riots in Alexandra on 12 July 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - There are fears that South Africa's security forces were caught flat-footed during the deadly violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as a result of the "complete collapse of intelligence", a financially rundown military and a challenged police service.

At least six people have been arrested, with police saying that they could be the instigators behind the violence and looting that spread through both provinces last week.

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More than 200 people were killed in what President Cyril Ramaphosa was calling "an insurrection".

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS)'s board chairperson Jakkie Cilliers said that the police and SANDF seemed to have tried their best to stop the violence but they battled with a lack of resources and finances.

"It's almost impossible with limited man and woman power to be able to respond to where there is violence when you have this is kind of, I wouldn't say mass outbreak, this growing kind of demonstration effect. So I have quite a bit of sympathy for the lack of ability of both the military and the police to be able to effectively respond to events. They, of course, rushed to try and protect the key government installations as I think they should do."

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