Cape Town - No shutdown is worth a loss of life, damage to property, intimidation, violence or infringing on anyone’s rights.
That should be the guiding principle when the EFF leads demonstrations expected across the country on Monday.
Our courts have once again reaffirmed that the EFF’s right to protest is protected in our Constitution; it is equally reassuring that they have prohibited the party or anyone from causing disruptions in exercising this right.
The DA’s failed attempts to bar the EFF from exercising their right, and the subsequent deliberate misinterpretation of the court order to suit their narrative, can best be described as cheap politicking.
They, too, have marched over the same demands with no one seeking to clip their constitutional rights.
It is perhaps important to note early in this editorial that EFF leader Julius Malema has promised that those trying to foment violence during the protest will be rooted out and taken to law enforcement when they march to demand an end to load shedding, and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s resignation.
The importance that Monday’s expected marches are conducted in this spirit cannot be overstated.
Any call or instruction for schools, businesses and other institutions to close their doors are irresponsible and should not be entertained.
It also goes without saying that our country has been here before. We know all too well that violence has never, and will never, address the long list of crises the country is grappling with, mostly as a result of the ANC-led government.
The 2021 July unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng becomes the closest reference point in this argument.
Many lives, in fact, more than 300, were lost in that unrest. Their families remain in the dark about those responsible for the murders.
The country, especially those in KZN and Gauteng, is still reeling not only from the structural damage of that unrest, but the emotional scars left behind.
History is the best lesson we can use to avoid anything that appears to have the hallmarks of that painful chapter in our history.