Police, soldiers praised for good work on national shutdown day

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet has applauded the efforts of the military and police ensuring there were no major incidents during the 20 March national stay-away called by Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

A statement issued post this week’s Cabinet meeting noted what was done by its Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster and NATJOINTS (National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure) to ensure South Africa continued largely as normal the day ahead of the human rights public holiday on 21 March.

“While acknowledging operations of this nature cannot be mounted on a daily basis” the recently revamped Cabinet directed its security cluster to develop and table an integrated and intelligence-led crime prevention plan to “urgently and effectively deal with organised crime, safety and security of people in South Africa”.

In closing, Cabinet expressed its appreciation of the solidarity shown by the majority of South Africans rejecting shutdown calls and “protecting our constitutional democracy”.

Ahead of the stay-away, estimated by some observers to have attracted around 150 000 people nationally, JCPS said measures were in place to ensure “everyone who wants to go to work, travel for leisure and conduct business on this day does so in a safe and secure environment”.  This included a high visibility police presence with soldiers and other national defence force elements on standby to assist if needed.