Conspiracy or incompetence: why were SA’s security forces so ...

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Conspiracy or incompetence: why were SA’s security forces so slow to react?

With violence being so obvious a danger after Zuma was jailed, those tasked to protect us have a lot to answer for

Columnist

The police, army and intelligence services’ frustratingly slow response to get to looting hotspots and deal with violence and destruction to property raises the spectre of deliberate inaction, incompetence by the state to quickly mobilise security forces, and the government failing to grasp the gravity of the emergency and the need for urgency.

The chaos, loss of life and resulting devastating impact on the economy, the health of the country (the looting was a Covid-19 superspreader event) and long-term societal peace necessitated a state of emergency to be called. Yet it was not.

The initial protests by supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, before they spiralled into full-scale looting, appeared to have been well-planned, orchestrated and coordinated. The military style occupation of key commercial arterials, roads and hubs simultaneously in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal showed that it was well-organised...

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