He was responding to a question from IFP chief whip Narend Singh, who asked whether the police would be able to deal with such unrest this time around.
“Given the utterances of the police commissioner recently that during the unrest, SAPS was understaffed and gathering intelligence was a weakness, and given that there are reports and information circulating currently, that there are possible threats of looting on Friday and the weekend in Pietermaritzburg and Durban areas ... will SAPS be ready to deal with these kind of issues if there is such as reported by intelligence?” asked Singh.
He said police from different stations in KwaZulu-Natal were calling meetings with community policing forums and community organisations about this.
Singh did not elaborate about the origins of the threats.
Responding to another question about police capacity to respond to similar unrest, Mathale said contingency plans have been put in place in areas that were affected by the violence, the effective flow of crime intelligence had been secured, and intelligence is communicated to all relevant stakeholders on a daily basis.
Mathale said to ensure that capacity is enhanced, public order police (POP) officers were receiving training in the SAPS academy and officers who are already trained were being exposed to refresher courses
“It was evident from the July unrest situation that adequate numbers of POP members are required to do crowd management and measures have been put in place to ensure that equipment and vehicles, including armoured vehicles, are maintained and ready for operational deployment should the need arise.”