President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to EFF leader Julius Malema’s “national shutdown” threats, saying that law enforcement officials will not tolerate anarchy or disorder.
“Disorder and anarchy will not be allowed in South Africa. We will not allow those who want to spread anarchy to do what they like in South Africa,” says President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“We are a constitutional democracy. Yesterday [Wednesday], we had a meeting of our national security council and we discussed this and the security forces of our country are going to defend our people,” said Ramaphosa during a media briefing on Thursday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says anarchy and disorder will not be allowed in South Africa. He says those who want to go out and protest must do so peacefully. This follows the EFF planned national shutdown scheduled for this coming Monday. #DStv403 #eNCA pic.twitter.com/DVMa6wFvUm
— eNCA (@eNCA) March 16, 2023
“They are going to make sure that intimidation, anarchy and disorder does not prevail. But those who want to protest, by all means, you protest peacefully. But if you are going to restrict the rights of other people, if you are going to coerce them, if you are going to intimidate them and unleash violence, our security forces are going to defend the people of South Africa.”
He continued: “We will not allow anarchy and disorder to prevail in this country and against the people of South Africa. That will not be allowed. So we will see what happens. But then again, it’s interesting that Monday is a long weekend. Many of our people will probably be travelling to their homes and we expect there will be full order and harmony in our country. But security forces stand ready to defend the people of South Africa,
Golden Arrow bus services says it will be business as usual on March 20, as it is not moved by threats of the EFF’s directive for a national shutdown
“Golden Arrow has received many queries from concerned passengers regarding whether they will be to get to work and school on Monday the 20th of March, when the EFF has called for a national shutdown. Golden Arrow is contracted to the provincial Department of Mobility, and is obligated to operate as per our timetables, and we do plan to operate a normal service on Monday, EWN quoted the bus company’s spokesperson, Bronwen Dyke-Beyer as saying.
Cabinet has slammed the EFF’s planned shutdown, saying the party is trying to force regime change through illegal means.
Minister in the presidency and cabinet spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said if the EFF wants to govern, it must contest the elections next year.
“The only demand which is the basis of this protest action is the plan to remove President Ramaphosa from office through unconstitutional means,” said Ntshavheni.
“We want to inform all that regime change through unconstitutional means will not happen in South Africa. Anyone with ambitions to govern this country must wait to contest the 2024 general elections,” Ntshavheni said during a media briefing media alongside the justice, crime prevention and security cluster JCPS ministers who gave updates on preparations for the shutdown.
[WATCH] “Regime change through unconstitutional means will not be tolerated and it will not happen in South Africa… attempt to cause disruptions will be met with the full might of the law.” – Minister in Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.#NationalShutdown #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/BTxFUVncIz
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 16, 2023
The EFF has reportedly said that KwaZulu-Natal’s economic hubs, Durban and Richards Bay will be the main focus of the party’s planned national shutdown.
“What I can confirm to you is that you [reporter] may need to be anywhere around Durban. Our processes in the province will be overseen by our secretary-general [Marshall Dlamini]. The two most important points would be Richards Bay and Durban.
“When the time comes, we will then reveal the actual points where we will be,” Times Live quoted EFF KZN spokesperson Mazwi Blose as saying.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has weighed in on the planned EFF shutdown saying: “Disorder and anarchy will not be allowed in South Africa”.
“It is not a right that you intimidate others and threaten others with violence… that completely goes against the ethos of our constitution…. We will not allow anarchy and disorder to prevail in our country and against the people of South Africa,” Ramaphosa said on the sidelines of the state visit by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the Union Buildings on Thursday.
Ramaphosa said the only recognised means of changing a regime in South Africa is through elections and not “attempts to promote an insurrection.”
“We met with our security cluster yesterday, and they will defend our people from any planned attempts to destabilise the country,” he said.
[MUST WATCH] President Cyril Ramaphosa hits back at EFF @Julius_S_Malema planned shutdown saying: “Disorder and anarchy will not be allowed in South Africa.” Says the EFF is electioneering and positioning itself for next year’s elections. @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/hrnKyz3iYM
— Amanda Khoza – The Journalist (@MandaKhoza) March 16, 2023
Defence Minister Thandi Modise says South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be on standby to assist the police to deal with any violence that may arise from the EFF’s planned countrywide shutdown on Monday.
“If there is a weakness in the security cluster is that for a long time we have allowed people to use the social media to plan to intimidate and we have not follwed up. We want to assure you that this time we will not let it go…
“We are on standby. There is capacity, and South Africans, they will be protected and not be violated,” said Modise on Thursday during a media beriefing on the Cabinet meeting that was held on Wednesday.
[WATCH] “We have allowed people to use social media to plan, to intimidate .. this time we will not let it go… whether SANDF will be deployed? we are on standby.” – Defense minister Thandi Modise.#NationalShutdown #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/JlVuNl3hAl
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 16, 2023
The Film and Publication Board (FPB) has accused members of the Economic Fighters (EFF) of threatening to harm learners and teachers who go to school on the day of the party’s planned national shutdown.
FPB said it has opened a criminal case against the member and has written to Twitter to take down the video enticing violence.
It said the video and its sharing are in contravention of section 18H of the Films and Publications Act.
On Monday, the national shutdown would demand an immediate end to load shedding and for president Cyril Ramaphosa to resign in what party leader Julius Malema said would make the Zuma Must Fall protest look like “Micky Mouse”.
The board said the video threatens that pupils wearing school uniform on that particular Monday will be beaten up including teachers, policemen and everyone else.
We advice the public not to share the video inciting imminent violence against the public #NoToViolence pic.twitter.com/RktIXGlW5h
— Film and Publication Board (@FPB_ZA) March 15, 2023
“The FPB has written to Twitter to take down the video from its platform as the video in addition to inciting public violence, is blatantly threatening to children.
“Furthermore, the FPB has opened a case at Lyttelton police station so that the perpetrator can be brought to book. The FPB, as required by the act, will work with the police in ensuring that the matter is dealt with swiftly to finality.”
FPB will monitor the removal of the video on social media to “ensure that no further dissemination or distribution by the public occurs”.
It also warned people not to share, re-post or distribute the clip in any form because doing so will make them equally guilty.
Ahead of the national shutdown the EFF has warned businesses to close their doors on the day to avoid the risk of looting.
ActionSA has joined other politicians who have raised concern over the planned EFF national shutdown.
According to Times Live, party leader Herman Mashaba said: “We cannot allow a radical minority to dictate the economic activity of our nation, especially when we are already facing significant barriers to improving our society for all.
“The EFF’s stated threat to national key points, including OR Tambo and ports of trade, is not only unresponsible, but criminal.
“The EFF either fails to understand — or simply does not care — that such a shutdown will cause economic losses that will likely lead to the retrenchment of the workers they supposedly represent,” Mashaba said.
Minister of Police Bheki Cele has assured South Africans that March 20 will be a “normal business day, adding that all law enforcement officers will be deployed nationwide.
“Monday will be a normal business day, and to our international community, all ports of entry will be operational. Measures are in place for all travel to ensure the safety of all people. The police will protect everyone.
“Anyone who blocks roads, barricades highway, and prevent others from going to work will face the full might of the law,” said Cele during a media briefing on the Cabinet meeting held on Thursday.
He added: “The majority of society has rejected this call. This includes taxi and road freight organisations. People should not believe everything they read and see on social media. The situation is closely monitored by police across the country,” he said.
[WATCH] “We want to assure everyone in the country that the 20th of March will be a normal business day, all ports of entry, land, sea and air will be operational.” – Police Minister Bheki Cele. #NationalShutdown #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/J0K2h3oy03
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 16, 2023
Cape Town — The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) has announced its plans to carry on as usual despite the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) planned National Shutdown on March 20.
Last week, the EFF cautioned business owners to close their businesses to avoid the risk of looting during the planned national shutdown on March 20.
Party leader Julius Malema said the national shutdown would demand an immediate end to load shedding and for president Cyril Ramaphosa to resign. The shutdown, he added, would make the Zuma Must Fall protest look like “Micky Mouse”.
According to News24, Santaco will not participate in the shutdown because they believe, “the economy is already messed up and we don’t want to be adding more fuel to the fire”.
“We are looking at the shutdown as more of an injury to the economy. Firstly, we are not even part of planning that strike, and our drivers are fully aware that we don’t condone the shutdown at all,” Santaco national spokesperson Bafana Magagula was quoted as saying.
ALSO READ | National Shutdown: ‘The streets are calling… enough is enough’ – Malema
Meanwhile, EWN reported that the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) received a notice from the EFF, requesting it to stop its operations.
However, Acsa spokesperson Gopolang Peme said that the request was denied.
“Despite the threats of the organisers of the shutdown, Acsa would like to assure the public it has a contingency plan to mitigate any disruptions planned for the day,” Peme was quoted as saying.
“We will remain on high alert and normal operations will continue.”
ALSO READ | National shutdown: Business community calls for Ramaphosa to intervene
Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chair Helen Zille said that the Shutdown would only worsen SA’s problems.
“The national shutdown will make all the problems much WORSE than the shutdown is supposed to be against. When your roof is leaking, you do not make the holes bigger. When your house is collapsing, you do not undermine the foundations further. Don’t be stupid,” said Zille.
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Compiled by African Insider team