Security forces on high alert amidst threats of a national shutdown on Monday

South Africa’s security forces announced on Sunday that they were on high alert and ready to ensure the safety of the country’s citizens in the wake of threats of a national shutdown allegedly planned for Monday.

The spokesperson of the national joint operational and intelligence structure (NatJOINTS), Colonel Robert Netshiunda said the country’s law enforcement agencies have through the NatJOINTS put measures in place to ensure the safety and security of South Africans amidst threats of a national shutdown.

“The NatJOINTS is aware of inflammatory messages on various social media platforms advocating for violence. Those behind these messages are warned that inciting violence is a criminal offence. Members of the public are cautioned against spreading such divisive messages.

“Equally, a different set of messages is also doing the rounds where people are mobilising to respond to the supposed shutdown.

“The public is urged not to respond to calls for violence and criminality, and are thus discouraged from participating in activities that seek to defy the rule of law and undermine the authority of the State.

“We are calling on Community Police Forums and related sub-forums to work with the police as they usually do, and to mobilise the community against any form of lawlessness.

“Law abiding citizens should be at ease knowing that  the NatJOINTS is not taking these threats lightly. Security forces are on high alert and ready to maintain stability in the country, and ensure the safety and security of South Africans.

“The NatJOINTS reminds the public that South Africa is still on Adjusted Alert Level 3 Lockdown, and calls for maximum adherence to the Regulations and Covid-19 health protocols. Currently outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 persons,” Netshiunda said.

An image widely shared on social media calling on people to take part in the shutdown shows an image of the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and calls for his “fall”, further claiming that the purported national shutdown on Monday will be over “unverified” Covid-19 vaccines and would be under the banned #BlackLivesMatter, among other issues.

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