Intelligence was lacking, ignored or non-existent and security forces were wholly under-capacitated.
That’s how opposition parties have characterised the situation that led to the recent violent riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
But during a Parliamentary debate, Police Minister Bheki Cele hit back, saying his forces were doing their job outside the media glare.
But while intelligence services did not participate in the debate to answer for themselves, the new Minister of Defence Thandi Modise made no excuses for the situation, apologising for lives lost and livelihoods destroyed.
Sixteen instigators are currently facing prosecution while 87 police officers are being investigated for possible complicity in the unrest or for assault in the execution of their duties.