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LRC Statement on Civil Unrest in South Africa

The Legal Resources Centre condemns the current acts of violence and incitement to commit public violence that have caused irreparable harm to our constitutional democracy and are an affront to the rule of law. The LRC welcomes the statement made by Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority on behalf of the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi that the office will prosecute the acts of criminality to the fullest extent of the law and will work in collaboration with law enforcement agencies to ensure speedy prosecutions. As noble as these interventions may seem, they have not resulted in concrete results on the ground nor have they offered any comfort or assurance to citizens that there will be an immediate abatement of the level of looting, destruction of property and public violence. The rampant looting, acts of violence and incitement of violence persists. We are effectively still in the same position we were in when the actions began on 10 July 2021, the consequence of which has been residents in various communities opting to take matters into their own hands, subsuming the role of the police. This is not the type of action any citizen of a democratic state should have to take to discharge a responsibility that has been entrusted to the State.