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GOOD urges state to consider Criminal Matters Amendment Act in prosecuting violence instigators

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The GOOD SG has called on the state to use the Criminal Matters Amendment Act to prosecute those suspected of instigating the violence in KZN and Gauteng.

The GOOD Secretary-General (SG), Brett Herron issued a statement on Wednesday, 14 July 2021, calling on the state to use the Criminal Matters Amendment Act against protestors that are sabotaging infrastructure and the economy of the country. Herron claimed that the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele confirmed that the identities of the instigators of violence in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng are known to law enforcement agencies.

Herron stated that the extent to which the current criminality has been coordinated and orchestrated is being investigated. He also alleged that a former state security agency official is among at least ten of the individuals who are under investigation for suspected instigation of the violence in the country.

Herron stated that he believes that once suspects are arrested, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should consider charging them under the 2015 Criminal Matters Amendment Act. According to Herron, this act serves to deter the destruction of essential infrastructure citizens rely on for basic services, and sanctions those who do. The SG stated that the act explicitly recognises that such offences negatively impact the country’s economy and society, as well as the peace and stability of South Africa. Herron further stated that the act provides for stiff sentencing of up to 30 years for those convicted of the crime.

The SG also stated that the NPA must be seen to be functioning without political interference, and that it is crucial for South Africans to have confidence in the state ensuring the wheels of justice are tuned swiftly. He claimed that the criminality authored by suspected individuals has attacked the stability of food supply, essential health infrastructure, transport infrastructure, as well as the broad economy. Herron concluded by stating that GOOD welcomes the announcements of the arrests that have been made, while it salutes the citizens who have risen up against the violent lootings.

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