Media release

Government condemns violent acts against law enforcement

02 August 2019

2 August 2019

The Justice, Crime Prevention (JCPS) Cluster, on behalf of government, condemn in the strongest terms the acts of violence and criminality that occurred in Johannesburg’s Central Business District, after attacks on the police during a raid to seize counterfeit goods. 

The shocking and appalling behaviour by the unruly mob to try and stop law enforcement agencies in carrying out their duties will not be tolerated. An attack on the law enforcement agencies is an attack on the State, and government views this in the most serious light. Blatant disregard for our law threatens national security and the sovereignty of our nation.

Every citizen and foreign national must be aware that government will not tolerate lawlessness, criminality and illegal violent protests. South Africa is governed by the rule of law and government views such criminal activities as an attack on the state and abuse of democratic rights.

South Africa as a constitutional democracy governed by laws and as such we expect everyone working and living in the country to be doing so legally and in accordance to South Africa’s laws. No person, under any circumstances, has the right to attack officials discharging their duties. The country’s law enforcement will act decisively and not allow lawlessness and anarchy to prevail. Those found guilty will face the full might of the law. 

Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, chairperson of the JCPS Cluster said: “The blatant attack on police in the line of duty and the vandalism and destruction of property, especially during a crackdown on counterfeit goods, will not be allowed to continue. The sale of counterfeit goods negatively affects South Africa’s economy, and the consequence of not taking action against the sale of counterfeit goods results in loss in sales and profits of genuine goods and brands, and could pose health risks to ordinary consumers. Crime prevention is a priority of government and we call on society to continue strengthening collective efforts to reduce crime in South Africa. This will assist in ensuring that lawlessness is not tolerated in our country.”

The Justice Crime Prevention and Safety Cluster will continue to stamp the authority of the State and will liaise with Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to engage embassies to encourage their citizens to respect the laws of South Africa.

Government commend the men and women in blue who were on the ground enforcing the law in spite of violent attacks against them.

Furthermore the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura met this afternoon to make an assessment of the situation.


Siphiwe Dlamini (JCPS Cluster)
Cell: 083 645 4294

Vuyo Mhaga (Premier’s Office)
Cell:  076 636 5193

Reneilwe Serero (SAPS)
Cell: 071 492 0073

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System

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