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Security situation 'threatens future of SA', says Mondli Gungubele

Amanda Khoza Presidency reporter
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele. File image.
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele. File image.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele believes there is a deliberate attempt to undermine the state by people “who have been found wanting”.

“Those events [the July unrest, burning of parliament and vandalism of the Constitutional Court] undermine what this country is trying to do.

“There are a lot of factors we are still studying ...  I have no doubt that history will show that interventions against corruption were part of the pushback to that,” Gungubele told TimesLIVE.

In July last year, SA was hit by an unprecedented spate of violent riots and looting and the death of more than 300 people in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

An expert panel report into the unrest found that the security cluster had failed to prevent it and act timeously.

In January this year, Zandile Christmas Mafe allegedly torched parliament and later that week a hammer-wielding man smashed windows of the Constitutional Court building in Braamfontein.

Both suspects were arrested and have appeared in court.

The incidents have raised questions about the country’s security cluster, but this week police minister Bheki Cele insisted law enforcement was “fully functional”.

Gungubele said leaders had a daunting task in uniting South Africans who had built stereotypes over the years.

The situation, “which we are spending sleepless night trying to confront, is a threat to the future of the country”, he said.

"[It] deepens mistrust, aggravates divisions and makes people want to go back to their tribal land and racial laager. But the biggest success our predecessors had was to build a country where we were able to cut across ethnicity. I have seen how tribalism is destroying other countries.

“There is nationhood over tribalism in SA. For example, we have had presidents who are celebrated everywhere, whether they are Xhosa, Venda or [from other] tribes and ethnic groups.”

Gungubele urged South Africans not be tempted to reverse the gains achieved since 1994.


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