Minister of State Security David Mahlobo. Picture: GCIS
Minister of State Security David Mahlobo. Picture: GCIS

What exactly happens during a state of emergency in SA is not yet clear as the ANC did not discuss its draft regulations at the national conference this week.

Chairperson of the ANC’s national executive committee’s sub-committee on peace and stability David Mahlobo told journalists at a briefing on Thursday that the draft regulations, which led to public outrage when they were first reported, were not discussed.

The regulations would ban anyone from writing‚ publishing or broadcasting threatening material. Members of the security forces would also be allowed to use as much force as necessary to restore law and order‚ as long as it was proportional.

Weeks before the conference, which saw the country’s President Jacob Zuma hand over the party’s reins to Cyril Ramaphosa, Sunday paper Rapport revealed that the regulations had been drafted for a state of emergency.

The Presidency rubbished the report, but the draft regulations were later shared by Rapport and published by Right2Know. Business Day has also reported that the draft regulations stemmed from a continuing initiative of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster, which began its work in 2016.

Mahlobo said on Thursday that if a state of emergency were to be declared by a head of state, there are clear provisions in the Constitution as to how it should be done. He said it must either be supported by additional legislation, or by regulations — "but let’s wait for it to come so that we can see the draft regulations".

Mahlobo acknowledged that SA’s capacity to fight corruption needed to be enhanced, both in terms of investigations as well speedy, successful prosecutions. He added that Zuma would be asked to finalise the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill, as its finalistion is taking "too long".

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