'This attempted insurrection has failed' - President Ramaphosa
President Ramaphosa says those using the pretext of political grievances were those behind these attacks to economic sabotage through targeted attacks attempted to create a popular insurrection.
He says social media, fake news, and misinformation have sought to flame racial tensions and violence and instigators have sought to exploit the poor for their own benefit.
It was a smokescreen to create economic sabotage to undermine the functioning of SA, he says.
The ensuing chaos is used as a smokescreen to carry out economic sabotage through targeted attacks on trucks, factories, warehouses, and other infrastructure necessary for the functioning of our economy and the provision of services to our people.President Cyril Ramaphosa
This attempted insurrection has failed. It failed to gain popular support amongst our people. South Africans have rejected it.President Cyril Ramaphosa
Since the unrest started, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure has recorded over 118 incidents of public violence, arson, looting, and other unrest-related instances.President Cyril Ramaphosa
161 malls, 11 warehouses, 8 factories and 161 liquor outlets and distributors.
This does not include damage to roads and infrastructure.
Over 2,550 people have been arrested in connection with the unrest, and special arrangements are being put in place to ensure that these cases are prioritised.President Cyril Ramaphosa
As this government, we must admit that we were poorly prepared for an orchestrated campaign of public violence, destruction, and sabotage of this nature. We did not have the capability and plans in place to respond swiftly.President Cyril Ramaphosa
Police were faced with a difficult situation he adds.
Police exercised commendable restraint.President Cyril Ramaphosa
The number of security personnel has been increased across the country and he has authorised the deployment of 25, 000 soldiers across SA.
Ramaphosa says at least 212 people have died since the start of the riots.
The South African Police Service is investigating 131 cases of murder and has opened inquest dockets in respect of 81 deaths.President Cyril Ramaphosa
There has been a "sharp decline" in violence, and a sense of calm has returned, he notes.
Ramaphosa says the priorities are:
To stabilise the country
To secure essential supples and infrastructure
To provide relief, support and rebuilding
We will spare no effort in bringing these criminals to justice.President Cyril Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa believes a State of Emergency is only needed when all else has failed.
We will extinguish the fires that are raging..and those who lit the flame and spread it.President Cyril Ramaphosa
The damage that has been done to vital infrastructure will take time to repair. This, in turn, will impact the availability of food, fuel, medicine and other supplies not only in South Africa but across the region.President Cyril Ramaphosa
Those responsible for organising this campaign of violence and destruction have not yet been apprehended and their networks have not yet been dismantled. We must therefore remain vigilant.President Cyril Ramaphosa
A team in the Presidency is developing a comprehensive support package that will be presented to Cabinet and is in contact with stakeholders to provide relief for people and help businesses to rebuild.
We are engaged in a struggle to defend our democracy, our Constitution, our livelihoods and our safety. This is not a battle that we can afford to lose. When we look back on this moment in our history, let us say that we faced down a grave threat and defeated it together.President Cyril Ramaphosa