Calls on social media for national shutdown

Cape Town – Law enforcement agencies are on high alert and say they have put measures in place to ensure the safety of citizens amid threats of a “national shutdown” on Monday.

National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) said it was aware of inflammatory messages on social media platforms advocating for violence.

“Those behind these messages are warned that inciting violence is a criminal offence. Members of the public are cautioned against spreading such divisive messages. Equally, a different set of messages is also doing the rounds where people are mobilising to respond to the supposed shutdown,” NatJOINTS said.

They urged the public not to respond to calls for violence and criminality and said they were not taking the threats lightly.

“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.

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

On Friday, eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda joined KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala to reassure eThekwini residents that their law enforcement agencies were on high alert following the threat of a shutdown.

Kaunda convened a meeting on Friday with the leadership of the municipality and heads of law enforcement agencies to consolidate safety plans.

“We want to assure the people of eThekwini that all law enforcement agencies are working together to ensure that people’s lives and properties are protected and safe. We have also activated our community crime fighting structures to work with police and share information timeously if they notice any suspicious activity in their communities,” said Kaunda.

He added that Metro Police are maintaining a strong presence in all areas that have been identified as hotspots.

“We also want to make a call to members of the public to desist from disseminating information that might cause panic and incite violence,” said Kaunda.

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