Authorities in South Africa's Western Cape province have reassured the public over their safety, as information on threats to various malls emerged amid the ongoing unrest in the country.
Cape Town, July 16: Authorities in South Africa's Western Cape province have reassured the public over their safety, as information on threats to various malls emerged amid the ongoing unrest in the country.
In an update on Thursday, the Western Cape government said that messages, including those with official letterheads, going around about alleged threats to various malls in Cape Town and elsewhere in the province are "early warnings" and "are no cause for alarm", as they are pre-emptive risk mitigation measures.
"High-risk areas have been identified and contingency measures are already in place to address every situation that may come up," it said.
The update added that there was "no major concern" at the current stage over the information circulated on social media that its seven malls are targeted, with no need for malls to close.
Hundreds of shops and businesses were looted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal during the unrest, triggered by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, with roads being blocked, properties and vehicles damaged and burned.
The unrest, which may "have its roots in the pronouncements and activities of individuals with a political purpose and in expressions of frustration and anger", has become "opportunistic acts of criminality", with groups of people instigating chaos merely as a cover for looting and theft, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
No grievance, nor any political cause, can justify the violence and destruction in the two provinces, he said.
Zuma, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison after being convicted of defying the Constitutional Court's order which compelled him to appear and give evidence at the State Capture Commission in February, has challenged the sentence and is waiting for the judgment.