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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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Security officials firm on law and order ahead of EFF’s national shutdown

From left: African People First (APF) leader Muzi Hlengwa and APF secretary Sthembiso Mngadi during a media briefing about the anticipated national shutdown on Monday. l TUMI PAKKIES/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

From left: African People First (APF) leader Muzi Hlengwa and APF secretary Sthembiso Mngadi during a media briefing about the anticipated national shutdown on Monday. l TUMI PAKKIES/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Published Mar 17, 2023


Durban — The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) ministers have said that the Security Cluster is fully prepared and will deal with any disruption caused by the protest action planned by the EFF and its partners on Monday.

The ministers promised the public that law enforcement officers would be out in full force to protect them, while enforcing the law. They will be closely monitoring the situation throughout the country and will act swiftly and decisively against any threats or disruptions.

They added that there would be high police visibility.

They further lauded the residents and businesses who refused to be intimidated or bullied, and assured them that everyone in South Africa and their property would be protected.

“We want to reiterate to our international community that contrary to the pronouncements by those advocating for any disruption, all ports of entry – land, sea and air – will be operational.

“Measures have been put in place to ensure that everyone who wants to go to work, travel for leisure and conduct business on this day, does so in a safe and secure environment.

“Anyone who intimidates, stops anyone from going to work, barricades the roads and highways and uses any form of violence to try and stop our people from going on with their lives will face the full might of the law.”

It is reported that the majority of communities, structures and various sectors of society, including taxi council Santaco, have rejected the call for a national shutdown.

Finally, the cluster said, those who would be participating in any form of protest action must ensure that they do so in a peaceful manner, emphasising that no form of violence and criminality would be tolerated.

Meanwhile, KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, in a statement, said that the Constitution guaranteed the citizens the right to protest peacefully, and within the ambit of the law. She urged protesters not to infringe on the rights of others.

Dube-Ncube called on protesters to exercise maximum restraint, and to avoid and prevent unlawful behaviour during the national shutdown.

She said the protest came as KwaZulu-Natal was intensifying efforts to rebuild the province following the massive devastation of the Durban floods in April, and the lagging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We call on the police to work with the rest of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to plan accordingly, and to ensure that the protest is held within the four corners of all applicable laws and regulations, and without endangering lives or inflicting damage to property,” urged Dube-Ncube.

Santaco provincial office manager Sifiso Shangase said they would be transporting commuters as usual on Monday.

“As the transport industry, we are apolitical. We transport people from different political affiliations, so we can’t be seen to be taking part in the national strike.

“We urge our drivers to exercise caution and be vigilant at all times in order to protect our passengers,” Shangase said.

The IFP said the national shutdown was both “unnecessary and unfortunate”.

“Instead of penalising the ruling party, as the EFF purports, this shutdown will only serve to penalise the people of South Africa, particularly the poorest of the poor,” the IFP said.

DA KZN leader Francois Rodgers said the DA had written a letter to the premier asking her to ensure that security measures were put in place, to save lives.

“The KZN economy is still in recovery mode, therefore such calls by the EFF are not going to help reassure investors considering the province.”

The EFF’s KZN provincial leader, Nkululeko Ngubane, called on all members of society to heed the EFF’s call and stay away from work on Monday.

“We are calling on all the political parties to join forces in support of this national shutdown,” Ngubane said.

The African People First (APF) party said it supported the EFF’s call for a national stayaway.

APF provincial chairperson Muzi Hlengwa said the load shedding, water shortages, crime and other social ills engulfing this country were “enough”.

“Therefore it is high time that all members of society join the strike, and show the government that they are tired of all these crises going on in our country,” Hlengwa stressed.

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