State has let us down in our hour of need

Chaotic scenes as people arrive in cars to loot the Makro in Springfield. The writer says SA, tragically, is witnessing a “planned and coordinated” insurrection by faceless enemies of democracy.
Chaotic scenes as people arrive in cars to loot the Makro in Springfield. The writer says SA, tragically, is witnessing a “planned and coordinated” insurrection by faceless enemies of democracy.
Image: Orrin Singh

The political earthquake and inferno now rocking our beloved country prove the entire intelligence establishment was fast asleep. An event of this magnitude and scope evaded its hi-tech radar screens.

A failure of this depth must have repercussions for those entrusted in safety, security and the analysing of real-time intelligence. The extent of this failure is staggering.

It will cost the country at least R20bn or more in terms of destruction and frightening job losses, and the inevitable rapid rise in Covid-19 deaths and infections.

The mandate of the State Security Agency (SSA) is to provide the government with intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability, the constitutional order, and the safety and well-being of our people.

The SSA failed miserably at our hour of need. Parliament needs to probe the most glaring intelligence blunder in our history.

The state’s inability to foresee or forestall this frightening and destructive series of events on such a mammoth scale was a monumental failure that defies explanation. It was a self-imposed disaster, the result of terrible intelligence management.

This ruthless insurrection succeeded because important warnings got lost or intelligence officials lacked the skills to “connect the dots" of available information.

SA, tragically, is witnessing a “planned and coordinated” insurrection by faceless enemies of democracy.

There is going to be a reconstruction of events to find out who dropped the ball and why. Despite ample evidence of pending anarchy, there was an intelligence breakdown and a serious lack of preparation. Our law enforcement agencies rely on intelligence and its quality can mean the difference between life and death.

In our hour of deadly crisis, we were tragically let down. We lowered our guard, allowing anarchy to prevail. SA will never be the same.

Farouk Araie, Actonville, Benoni

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