KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has issued an apology after a video of him assaulting an alleged looter went viral on social media.

Zikalala was accompanying law enforcement agencies in Riverhorse Valley, north of Durban, on Wednesday, 14 July, where scores of looters had been looting warehouses.

The video, as broadcasted on Newzroom Afrika, was shared on social media showing the aggravated premier catching the alleged looter and hitting him on the back before he manages to escape.

On Thursday, 15 July, the premier’s office issued a statement to apologise for the incident.

“The premier apologises unequivocally about the incident. The premier 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 looter is justified, the manner in which this was done is deeply regretted,” said spokesman Lennox Mabaso.

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He said the premier believes that public violence has no place in society.

“In the same spirit, those who commit acts of destruction do not share in the values of our nation.

“Once again, we call upon all the people of KwaZulu-Natal to stand united in our diversity and begin our rebuilding programme,” Mabaso said.

Meanwhile, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu slammed the premier for acting foolishly and made a call for him to be held accountable for mob justice.

“He’s legitimating thugs and criminals who think they are permitted to assault and kill people in Phoenix and other parts of KZN. He’s a fool!” Shivambu tweeted.