NPA told to oppose bail for those bust for looting and public violence

NPA told to oppose bail for those bust for looting and public violence

The NPA has been instructed to oppose bail for anyone arrested for being part of looting and rioting playing out in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

In a statement late on Tuesday night, the presidency said that the NPA was "putting together a team of special prosecutors who have been instructed to oppose bail for suspects associated with public violence and economic sabotage".

Earlier on Tuesday, the SAPS said that 1,234 people had been arrested linked to the ongoing violence - all but two of them from KZN or Gauteng.

"The law enforcement agencies have also been tasked to enforce the Disaster Management Act regulations, especially ensuring observance of the curfew, which is from 9pm to 4am daily," the presidency statement said.

The statement added that President Cyril Ramaphosa had met with various sectors of society, including religious leaders, on Monday and Tuesday. He was due to meet with political leaders and other groups on Wednesday.

"The religious leaders expressed support for the deployment of the SANDF to support the police in stabilising the situation, and also called for a comprehensive response to the societal conditions enabling the events unfolding around the country.

"In this evening’s meeting, religious leaders urged government to consider allowing communities of faith to gather for worship, while observing Covid-19 health regulations, as part of the national effort to restore calm and provide counselling to communities. President Ramaphosa welcomed the concern expressed by interfaith leaders in events in the country and welcomed a proposal for a national day of prayer," the statement read.

The presidency added that government leaders were also meeting with informal and small business associations, community leaders, traditional leaders and others, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.