Following two days of violence which have seen at least 33 trucks torched and numerous shops looted in KwaZulu-Natal president Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a stop of the lawlessness.
Ramaphosa called on communities in KwaZulu-Natal to desist from undermining the rule of law and inflicting damage on the economy.
He said the impact of public violence against the road freight industry and damage to freeways that serve as economic arteries will be felt also by the people organising and committing these crimes.
The President says the reasons allegedly advanced for the violence in KwaZulu-Natal cannot be used to legitimise vandalism and public violence.
The Constitution protects the right to protest but protests cannot be abused to break the law or to destroy property and threaten livelihoods.
Criminal elements must be met with the full might of the law.
The President, therefore, commends the South African Police Service for their efforts to quell violence.
Police in KwaZulu-Natal say about 27 people have so far been arrested across the province for acts of lawlessness following sporadic protests in various parts.
Read more on KwaZulu-Natal protests here
It’s believed that those behind the demonstrations are against the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma.
The President endorses the call by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala for calm in the province and for citizens to express themselves within the bounds of the law.