If one thing was clear following the unrest that broke out in KwaZulu-Natal and which spread to Gauteng earlier this month, it was that our security cluster was not up to scratch.
Violence and looting were sparked by the arrest and jailing of former president Jacob Zuma after he failed to follow a court order to appear before the Zondo Commission.
Initially, analysts linked the unrest to anger over socio-economic hardships and frustrations related to the pandemic's lockdown regulations, but, as the days wore on and attacks were carried out on key infrastructure, questions were raised whether it wasn't something more.
The government then started speaking about an "economic sabotage" before President Cyril Ramaphosa labelled it an insurrection, despite mixed messaging from his defence minister.
Regardless of whether the riots were a result of socio-economic circumstances or an attempted coup, it left the government with egg on its face. It showed an intelligence and police service wholly underprepared and, in some cases, absent, even when the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was deployed.
Several reasons have been given for why the state failed, including the fact that the intelligence service had been hollowed out to deal with factional battles in the ANC, rather than ensure citizens' safety.
Join News24's editor-in-chief, Adriaan Basson, on Thursday at 13:00 as he examines what exactly is needed to ensure there is quality intelligence information and analysis on the ground, as well as a capable police service, to prevent future incidents.
Basson will be joined by Tshwane University of Technology's Professor Jacob Mofokeng, the Institute for Security Studies' Dr Jakkie Cilliers, the University of the Western Cape's Dr Jean Redpath, and Stellenbosch University's Dr Guy Lamb.
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