The KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has issued a public apology after a video of him forcefully apprehending and assaulting a looter went viral.
The incident, which took place in Durban on Wednesday, took place while national news channel, Newzroom Afrika was broadcasting live from the scene.
In the video, Zikalala and his security guards are seen apprehending one of three young rioters who were carrying looted goods from a factory.
While two boys managed to run away, one was grabbed and pulled by Zikalala.
The premier is then seen hitting the looter on his back, twice, before the young man escapes and runs.
While running, Zikalala’s security makes an attempt to stop the looter but he escapes.
The office of the premier said they had noted a video that is circulating.
It said the video emanates from an incident that took place while Zikalala, and his delegation were visiting the worst affected areas in the city as part of assessing the damage on the ground and to bring an end to the wanton destruction.
Zikalala said he apologises unequivocally about the incident.
Furthermore, he said he regrets the level of force used in apprehending a looter, who was attempting to make off with goods that had been stolen from a nearby warehouse.
“While the action of apprehending a resisting looter is justified, the manner in which this was done is deeply regretted. The premier apologises for this incident,” he said.
He said he believes that public violence has no place in society, and in the same spirit, those who commit acts of destruction do not share the values of our nation.
“Once again, we call upon all the people of KZN to stand united in our diversity and begin our rebuilding programme,” he said.
Meanwhile, the KZN EFF chairperson, Vusi Khoza has requested the public to help locate the young boy so that they could open a case.