South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the violent protests taking place in the country is being conducted by groups of criminals as cover up for looting.

Ramaphosa who currently addressing the nation amid protests and looting of shops called for an end to the chaos saying perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Ramaphosa has since authorised the deployment of the army in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal; adding that the authorities will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute.

He said he will deploy available and necessary resources in order to bring this criminality to an end.

“I’d like to be clear; we will take action to protect every person in this country against the threat of violence, intimidation, theft and looting,” he said.