Business as usual in Free State

The Mantsopa Local Municipality in the Free State has confirmed that it is business as usual as local taxis are ferrying community members to and fro town despite the planned national shutdown.

In a statement on Monday, Mantsopa Local Municipality (MLM) Mayor Mamsie Tsoene said all the retail shops, banks, filling stations, government departments, tuck-shops, eateries and so on, were opened and employees reported for duty.

The Mayor lauded law enforcement officers who are currently deployed around Mantsopa jurisdiction to ensure that there are no acts of violence, lawlessness and criminality throughout the municipality.

Around 9am a handful of protesters barricaded the road in Ladybrand, Manyatseng, near ‘‘Corner left’’, however, the South African Police Services (SAPS) have since cleared the road.

These protesters have since relocated near Itumeleng Community Hall and the police are now closely monitoring the situation.

Tsoene has thanked all the law-abiding community members who have distanced themselves from this act of anarchy.

She warned the residents that anyone who will be found to be contravening the law will be arrested and face the full might of the law.

Ladybrand Police Station Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Dlamini, has said that the law enforcement officers are on high alert and will make sure that they maintain public order, uphold and enforce the law and make sure that the properties are not vandalised.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SAPS management asserts authority over isolated incidents

The South African Police Service (SAPS) management in the Eastern Cape has expressed satisfaction with the manner in which police on the ground have exercised their authority in ensuring peace and stability during the national shutdown.

In a statement on Monday, SAPS management said the atmosphere of stability must be attributed to the strictest security measures put in place ahead of the national shutdown.

This as integrated law enforcement agencies have been deployed in various parts of the province to prevent any possibility of criminal activities, which could arise during the protest.

On the eve of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) protest marches, the SAPS said that some parts of the Eastern Cape witnessed attempts by a few individuals to undermine the authority of the security forces.

“They burnt tyres and put rubble on the roads, but all their plans were frustrated by the alert police who were ready to stop their actions. All the national roads, highways and byways including business properties are operating well and without any serious incidents reported.

“The SAPS is confident that the people of Eastern Cape including their property remain protected and safe. There is calm in all the areas where the criminal elements attempted to create a negative image of the Eastern Cape province,” said the SAPS.

The SAPS added that isolated incidents such as the one in Mdantsane in the early morning, were perpetrated by a few individuals who could not even be identified with known organisations. When the police arrived in those areas, the criminal elements disappeared and never resurfaced.

SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has once again warned against acts of criminality and unruly behaviours.

“As the police we recognise the right of the people to protest as enshrined in the constitution, but if this right is abused and infringes on the rights of others, as security forces, we are obligated to act and act decisively against such elements. So far, I can confidently say we are in control of the situation, we have managed to drive away those who wanted to take advantage in the morning. There is calm as we speak and we continue to keep a close eye in the situation.” Lieutenant General Mene said.

Members of the community are urged to please report any act of criminality to the nearest police station or call the Crime Stop number 086 00 10 111.

Source: South African Government News Agency