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#AntiZumaMarches hit streets

Politics
Johannesburg – Despite some confusion regarding anti-Zuma protests taking place across the cities of Joburg and Ekurhuleni, several pickets had been confirmed for Friday morning.

Residents will be marching, picketing and facilitating human chains in the inner city, Saxonwold, Sandton, Kensington, Wychwood, Park Meadows and Linksfield.

Joburg metro police spokesperson Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said on Thursday several streets would be closed off due to the DA’s March for Change taking place in the inner city on Friday morning.

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“The march is from Westgate Transport Hub to Mary Fitzgerald Square and back. We are expecting this march to be big, with about 10 000 people attending.

“From 10am to 1pm traffic will be diverted. Roads affected are Marshall, Anderson and Henry Nxumalo streets, the side roads in these areas as well as Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown. We encourage motorists to avoid the western side of the Joburg CBD,” he said.

“We ask all those taking part in legal protests to abide by the law. They must be orderly, there must be no violence or endangering of the lives of our citizens and no damage to property,” Minnaar said.

He warned that the JMPD could not support illegal marches, stressing that when it comes to protests, “if it’s not approved, it’s considered an unprotected or illegal march”.

Due to threats of violence, the DA amended its route and will no longer be marching to Luthuli House or Beyers Naudé Square to ensure a safe, inclusive and nonpartisan march which caters for all South Africans.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane encouraged all people, including civil society and businesses, to take part.

In Saxonwold, residents unable to attend the inner-city march have been encouraged to meet and picket outside the former Gupta home on Methwold Road from noon.

“Join us as we unite with the rest of SA in a mass action to oust President Jacob Zuma,” said picket organiser Helen Bloomer.

“Bring a picnic basket and clear, affirmative placards. No racist placards or clothing will be tolerated. Please wear black to indicate our country is in mourning,” she said.

“Please, SA, don’t sit in pubs or at home. If you don’t feel safe protesting away from home, get everyone in your street to park in the streets. Bring out your braais and celebrate the revolution that’s going to take place. Remember to have banners and placards,” Bloomer stressed.

In Ekurhuleni, Edenvale residents under the banner “Edenvale: Save our Country South Africa” will join other protesters in saying “enough is enough”.

The march was to start from Horwood’s Farm at 9am and the group planned to march to the Edenvale Library to hand over a memorandum. Several streets will be closed, including Homestead Road. Van Riebeeck Avenue will possibly be affected.

Chains4Change is also facilitating human chains around Joburg and Ekurhuleni to encourage those unable to join marches to create a human chain in their own space in solidarity with the rest of SA.

“People are encouraged to form human chains outside their corporate headquarters, favourite coffee shops, residential complexes in their neighbourhoods, their places of worship, favourite shopping centre and school pick-up points,” said organiser Brenda Stern.

Chains4Change confirmed chains at 3 Alice Lane, 165 West Street in Sandton, Grayston Drive outside Grayston shopping centre, Club Street in Linksfield, Boksburg and Walkerville, with more places continuing to join.

Those taking part in the Chains4Change have been asked to link arms and form chains, bring banners, sing for South Africa, blow vuvuzelas and fly SA’s flag.

In Pretoria, anti-Zuma protesters will join those from other parts of the country in taking to the streets in a bid to force the president to step down.

The mobilisation for the march, under the banner of #Save South Africa, that had been taking place at Pretoria’s Church Square all week is expected to culminate in a gathering from 10am.

However, acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane declared the Pretoria Save South Africa marches “effectively illegal” at a media briefing last night. But after an urgent court application, the chief magistrate of Pretoria granted permission for them to go ahead.

The Presidency said it did not oppose the marches, as citizens were entitled to protest. – Additional reporting by Virgilatte Gwangwa

The Star

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