SACP speaks out about the reasons behind looting and attacks

Johannesburg – The SACP has blamed divisions in state intelligence and law-enforcement units for the recent outbreak of xenophobic violence.

The party’s general secretary, Blade Nzimande, made the remarks after his party’s augmented central executive committee meeting that ended in Boksburg on Sunday.

Nzimande had earlier said that the SAPS had to make a concerted effort to arrest South Africans and foreign nationals responsible for the looting of goods and damage to property in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

“The criminals, both foreigners and South Africans alike, must be hunted down and held to account,” he said.

Nzimande also called for the issue of drug abuse to be dealt with.

According to Nzimande, the violence and attacks against foreigners came about as a result of the failure of law-enforcement agencies to deal with drug dealing by some foreigners and also South Africans.

He said the party was deeply concerned about the erosion of the capacity and strategic discipline of the state, in particular, crime intelligence, the police, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), the State Security Agency (SSA) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

These were the same sentiments expressed by the Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Tuesday, after the escalation of xenophobic violence.

Mapisa-Nqakula said it was important for the government to act on the recommendations of the panel on the review of the state intelligence agency.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa has acted on some of the recommendations by appointing advocate ­Mahlodi Muofhe as head of the domestic branch of the SSA, the SACP is of the view that “this erosion of state authority … has left many households and communities exposed to unabated criminality, which in turn engenders rising levels of anger and its eruption in the form of violent reactions in the coalface of helplessness”.

“Working-class communities and lower sections of the middle strata are the worst affected, while the rich have resorted to gating their upmarket areas and engaging armies of private security companies,” Nzimande said.

He pointed out that the erosion of state authorities, especially law-enforcement agencies, was a direct result of corporate state capture.

“Associated with this is the infiltration of these very law-enforcement agencies by criminal networks. The general outcry in many of our communities about the failure of state organs established to combat crime and corruption is well known. Linked with it, there are rising levels of lack of confidence and even mistrust in our law-enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system,” Nzimande said.

He said unless drastic action was taken at the top echelons, it would remain almost impossible to restore the integrity and legitimacy of the affected state organs.

“The central committee therefore reiterates the consistent call by the SACP for a thorough, specialised investigation into the manifestation and impact of state capture in, and criminal infiltration of, state organs established to combat crime and corruption,” he said.

The SACP has also vowed to dedicate its Red October campaign to the fight against gender violence.

By Ntsako Philmah Gana