Following the contradictory assessments by the Presidency and the security cluster that the violent riots that engulfed KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng last week cannot immediately be classified as an attempt at insurrection, the Democratic Alliance (DA) have accused the ANC of being in the midst of a communication breakdown. 

The opposition party said on Tuesday that the contradictory assessments coming out of government as to whether or not the looting and coordinated dismantling of vital supply chains constitutes an attempted insurrection represent “incoherent handling of the government response” to the violent outbreaks in KZN and Gauteng.

Presidency insist riots were ‘failed insurrection’  

Solly Malatsi, the DA’s Shadow Minister for the Presidency, said in a statement that government’s hesitancy to declare the riots as an attempted insurrection clearly demonstrate a rift within the ruling party.  

“These contradictory messages between the Presidency and security cluster are more than a communications crisis,” said Malatsi, who added that State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and the Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula “refuse to label the anarchy that led to deaths of at least 215 people, caused damage to multitudes of businesses and severely disrupted supply chain management of food, medical supplies, fuel and other necessities, as an insurrection”.

Deputy Minister of State Security, Zizi Kodwa, as well as Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, have concurred with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assessment of the situation, which is that the riots were indeed a “failed insurrection”. 

“This disagreement as well as the necessity for the Joint Standing Committee on Defence to call for coherence in the characterisation of the violence and looting, shows clear evidence of the different ANC factions within Ramaphosa’s cabinet and that the President has lost control over them,” said Malatsi. 

DA demand cabinet reshuffle  

With growing concerns over the escalation of factionalism within the ANC continuing to mount, Malatsi warned that Ramaphosa must urgently regain control of his cabinet and the agencies tasked with handling the aftermath of the riots.  

“Unless President Ramaphosa quells the mutiny rising in his ranks by shuffling his cabinet and getting rid of deadweight Ministers clearly out of touch with reality and unable to fulfil their mandates who are only there to cash an exorbitant salary every month, he and indeed the whole country will be at the mercy of a cabinet gone rogue and sitting ducks for any future insurrections,” he said. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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