Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Bloemfontein: The Provincial Alliance Political Council represented by Officials of the ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO in the Free State met virtually, on 13th July 2021, to reflect on the ongoing violence gripping parts of the country.

The Council called for calm, restraint and condemns acts of lawlessness, violence and looting. They also called for respect of the rule of law.

In the statement, the Council said that whilst the Free State province currently remains largely calm, the alliance leadership felt it prudent to be proactive and meet to consider the situation in the province. The Alliance political leadership jointly calls for continued restraint and calm in the province in light of ongoing acts of violence and instability going on in various parts of the country.

It further urges its structures and communities to resist and desist from participating in such destructive acts, and work with law enforcement agencies to quell any lawlessness from taking root.

“Our communities must unite, close ranks and never allow opportunists to use their grievances for their nefarious ends. To that end, the leadership agreed to meet urgently with organisations of civil society and business in order to work together in safeguarding and protecting the people and property,”

The Alliance reaffirmed constitutionalism and unequivocally condemned the ongoing opportunism, lawlessness and criminality characterised by looting, arson, destruction of public and private property.

“Admittedly, our South African society is ravaged by deep seated structural socio-economic challenges that produce and reproduce unemployment, poverty, inequality and under-development, further aggravated by acts of corruption,”

“The incidents that engulfed some parts of the country showed clear signs of the depth of these social ills that are ravaging the fabric of society. The Alliance, however, implores the community to expose and denounce any attempts by opportunists to use the genuine grievances and challenges confronting them to fan-up lawlessness,” continued the statement.

“Any member belonging to any of the Alliance structures found to be involved in these criminal activities shall be severely dealt with”, ” read the statement.

The Alliance provincial leadership agreed on the need to intensify rebuilding government institutions, which were hollowed up over time, to be repositioned to respond speedily to the various genuine challenges faced by our communities in the Free State.

This includes coordinated programmatic efforts to address unemployment, poverty, underdevelopment; and fight corruption as well as improved service delivery in the province.

The Council said that these incidents of vandalism vindicate the call by their structures to alter the nature and structure of the economy in order to be able to redistribute resources to the majority and be able to close the income gap that exist in society.

The Alliance leadership in the province urges law enforcement agencies, working with law abiding citizens sharing information reciprocally, to act promptly and proactively to avoid ignition of violence.

The Alliance said that they shall meet very soon with the structures at grassroots to mobilise them to lead society in combating these reckless acts that destroys the economy, especially job creation.

“We believe that it is the membership on the ground that shall effectively combat the spread of misinformation and falsehoods in any media platform that are aimed at stirring violence, vandalism and looting,”

“The Alliance reaffirm its stand in support of the Freedom Charter that ‘All shall be equal before the law’, and that in order to fully achieve that goal we need to continue with the struggle to transform the judicial system so that it serves the broader interests of the people,”

“Lastly, the Alliance leadership calls on communities to remain vigilant, monitor and report any information, movements and plans they intercept aimed at inciting and coordinating chaos. And that the protest against the incarceration of the former President Zuma cannot be used for criminal ends. It is our firm belief that these events are a characteristic of counter-revolution and may destroy the advances made in the development of society.” concluded the statement.