Ramaphosa centralises communications on unrests following confusion caused by ministers

Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa has centralised communication on the recent unrest in the country in his office, following the public fallout between his ministers of State Security and Police, Ayanda Dlodlo and Bheki Cele.

In a letter to ministers and their deputies, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said she, as the spokesperson of Cabinet and the national security council, would be responsible for leading communication with the public and the media.

“Events of the past two weeks that threatened the safety and the security of the Republic, albeit mainly concentrated in the provinces of KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng and efforts of national government to recover in the aftermath, demands a more coherent government message when communicating with the public and the media,” she said.

This comes after a public spat between Dlodlo and Cele over how the state handled the unrest. Dlodlo has insisted that the SSA had provided intelligence to police in the period leading to the outbreak of the violence last week, during which over 200 people were killed and over 160 malls looted.

Cele, on the other had has maintained that they did not get intelligence from SSA.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula also got into hot water for contradicting the president in saying on Sunday there was no evidence of insurrection or coup but counterrevolution in the mass looting.

Ntshavheni said the members of the national executive now needed to clear all communication needs and media queries with her office.

“In addition the GCIS (Government Communication Information System) have at their disposal information on the recent developments in the country and will provide support in the form of speaking notes and other means to ensure public commentary of colleagues are aligned to the government message,” she said.

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