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