Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has backtracked from her previous comments that there was no insurrection, saying President Cyril Ramaphosa was correct to characterise the events of the last two weeks as an insurrection.
This follows widespread condemnation of Mapisa-Nqakula from political parties and within government ranks against the defence minister.
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and deputy minister of defence Thabang Makwetla had also contradicted Mapisa-Nqakula when she earlier denied there was an insurrection.
Mapisa-Nqakula had characterised the looting and violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as counter-revolution and not an insurrection.
However, on Monday she said this was an insurrection and had no point to disagree with Ramaphosa.
“The president has spoken, it was an attempted insurrection. I confined myself to counter-revolution. But remember any element of counter-revolution may lead to insurrection. Counter-revolution may lead to undermining the authority of the state,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
She said there was no intention to deliberately obscure what Ramaphosa had told the nation last Friday that there was an attempted insurrection.
Two days before Mapisa-Nqakula had briefed the joint standing committee on defence in which she described the looting and vandalism as counter-revolution.
Chief of the army General Rudzani Maphwanya had called for the meetings to be held in camera where they were discussing sensitive information.
He was supported by MPs in the committee saying this was a difficult time for South Africa and some of the facts did not need to be put out in the public domain.
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Monday the country was now stabilised.
She said members of the South African National Defence Force were helping the police in bringing stability and looking after key installations.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said they will continue to work with members of the SANDF to prevent any flare ups in the country.
The government has deployed more than 25 000 members of the army with most of them already on the ground.
The government has insisted it would ensure that it reins in those behind the looting with some of the alleged instigators arrested.
Members of the joint committees on police and defence force on Monday continued with their oversight visit in Durban and will today be in Gauteng to assess the damage caused by the violence.
The government has estimated the damage to be billions of rands.
Ntshavheni said the damage to businesses will have an impact on jobs in KZN and they were assessing the scale of the damage.
She said the cost to the GDP in KZN was estimated at R20 billion.