Julius Malema has reportedly told the protesters:: “This is the beginning, much more is still coming. Be ready, South Africa. Ramaphosa will fall.”
The EFF has accused transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga of sabotaging the party’s plans to ferry protesters by bus to Pretoria. .
EFF leader Julius Malema told protesters on Monday the party had spent over R1m to hire buses to ferry its supporters but the bus contractors had withdrawn their services at the eleventh hour, Times Live reported.
Protestors who have formed part of the #NationalShutdown in Tshwane have arrived at Mahlamba Ndlopfu, the official residence of the corrupt President of South Africa
We demand that Ramaphosa resigns and leaves this residence Now!#RamaphosaMustGo pic.twitter.com/g1pPn8M4tk
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 20, 2023
News24 reports that EFF leader Julius Malema on Monday led protesters to the compound that houses President Cyril Ramaphosa’s official residence Mahlamba Ndlopfu.
Addressing the protesters, Malema said: “He (Ramaphosa) has betrayed his oath of office [regarding the Phala Phala scandal], and he must vacate his office,” says Malema.
The report said there is a heavy police presence as well as members of the South African National Defence Force around the compound that houses Ramaphosa’s official residence.
♦️In Pictures♦️#NationalShutdown continues, and the fearless defenders of the Constitution have arrived at the official residence of the dictator, Cyril Ramaphosa
He Must Go And He Must Go Now! pic.twitter.com/elDTSt3gqt
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 20, 2023
EFF supporters were meant to march to the Union Buildings but the group – a few thousand in number – marched past and took a detour to Ramaphosa’s official home, the report says.
Meanwhile, Times Live reports that Malema, using a PA system, said Ramaphosa should leave, while supporters chanted: “Voetsek Ramaphosa, voetsek!”
South africans have rejected the eff shutdown👊🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️not that they dont have issues against government, We will fix loadshedding and many other challenges working with all our citizenship.
— ANC SECRETARY GENERAL | Cde Mbalula (@MbalulaFikile) March 20, 2023
Eff plans of shutdown in our country through chaos has failed they are left isloted in many parts of the country their attempt to insight insurrection by using electricity crisis has failed. Thank you bantu bomzantsi.
— ANC SECRETARY GENERAL | Cde Mbalula (@MbalulaFikile) March 20, 2023
The ANC has expressed its gratitude towards South Africans “who did not join the extremist and regressive so-called shutdown”.
“In South Africa, there is no place or tolerance for vigilantism and forceful removal of an incumbent government. The ANC is fully committed to doing what the people of South Africa expect, demand, and deserve,” the ANC said in a statement.
“The ANC acknowledges that everyone has the right to protest, and in line with the rule of law, all protest actions must be lawful. According to the Bill of Rights enshrined in our Constitution, no person or grouping may engage in an illegal protest action or impose their protest action on everyone who does not support it.”
Malema addresses the protesters at Church Square and says:
“Today we have an appointment with the streets. Comrades, this is the most successful shutdown in the history of South Africa.
“The biggest economy in Africa is closed, and Sandton is closed because of the mighty EFF.
Leader of Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema addressing the protesters at Church Square in Tshwane. Videos by @Kgalulul
#nationalshutdown #shutdown #EFFmarch #Churchsquare #Ndlozi #Malema #protest #EFF #ramaphosa @snl24sa pic.twitter.com/l6L89aDAQg
— Daily Sun (@dailysunsa) March 20, 2023
“This is the most successful shutdown in the history of shutdowns” – EFF leader Julius Malema addressing the party’s supporters in Pretoria. @Alpha_Mero25 pic.twitter.com/66x54xCRVH
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) March 20, 2023
EFF leader Julius Malema has arrived at Church Square, Pretoria, where he will address protesters.
CIC @Julius_S_Malema with groundforces at church square, Tshwane for a peaceful demonstration
Activists have joined the call by the EFF to raise their voice to show their frustrations against the failing government led by the incompetent President Ramaphosa #NationalShutdown pic.twitter.com/HL8JMQnoMU
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 20, 2023
Meanwhile, its going down in South Africa #NationalShutdown #Maandamano as Malema leads masses in peaceful demos, Johannesburg. pic.twitter.com/Z98Gpx85Jh
— Danson Joseph (@MashRomeo) March 20, 2023
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has taken to Twitter to thank party members for participating in the national shutdown protest.
“Thank you very much the people of South Africa and EFF ground forces for a peaceful yet vibrant national shutdown. It is the beginning. Let’s go out and join the picket lines.”
“They said it was a normal day, but you could see who the deceivers were. You proved to the doomsayers once more that we remain the only disciplined force,” Malema wrote.
Thank you very much the people of South Africa and @EFFSouthAfrica ground forces for a peaceful yet vibrant #EFFNationalShutdown. It’s just the beginning; now, let’s go out and join the picket lines. They said it was a normal day, but you could see who the deceivers were. You… https://t.co/bheHPbymG5 pic.twitter.com/dEVCMoB5US
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) March 20, 2023
IOL reports that bus company Putco has announced that it has temporarily suspended some of its buses this morning due to intimidation, amid the national shutdown unleashed by the Economic Freedom Fighters.
“Our staff buses were the first to encounter blocked roads and intimidation from demonstrators taking part in the national shutdown protest as they attempted to collect bus drivers aiming to report for duty in the early hours of Monday morning 20 March 2023,” the report quoted Putco’s spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu said.
Eye Witness News reports that there were a few incidents overnight in Cape Town, with a South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) crew member taken to hospital during a protest in Borchards Quarry.
Cape town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said that apart from some traffic delays, no other major incidents were reported in the morning.
“We’ve got a huge deployment across the city and everything, so far, is running very smoothly.
“We have got one or two very minor incidents this morning, a bus being stoned but very quickly being sorted out, and, so far, all busses, all taxis, all MyCiti busses are running as per normal,” the report quoted Hill-Lewis as saying.
#NationalShutdown Protesters have started arriving here at Church Square in Tshwane (Pretoria). A memorandum of demands will be handover at the Union Buildings later. pic.twitter.com/zVAZssMzPF
— Inside Politics (@InsidePolitics8) March 20, 2023
From Seshego to the Union Buildings and down to the Cape, the EFF has promised to shut down South Africa as the party demands the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa among others. #Newzroom405 reporters have the latest details.
Watch: https://t.co/VCLGtraawX pic.twitter.com/I5NmvIUAVf
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 20, 2023
Together with my fellow Board members of #ARETA at Church Square in Tshwane, from where we will march to the Union Buildings to demand that @CyrilRamaphosa must go! He must walk straight down the road to Kgosi Mampuru prison where the Phala Phala criminal belongs! pic.twitter.com/tNmz3pbzrJ
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) March 20, 2023
Members of the military, police and Tshwane metro police department are reportedly out in full force at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, as protesters taking part in the national shutdown are expected to descend on the area.
According to Times Live, officers armed with shields stood near the fence separating the national key point from a public park.
A similar scene was developing in Pretoria’s Church Square, the report said.
A banner with the words “Ankole must go” hung in front of the Paul Kruger statue. President Cyril Ramaphosa is the main driver behind a project to import the Ankole cattle breed from Uganda.
Police officers getting a briefing at the lawn by the Union Buildings ahead todays @EFFSouthAfrica #EFFNationalShutdown. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/MmdKuQTbRg
— #LordOfTheMedia (@samkelemaseko) March 20, 2023
Nhlanhla Lux, he says there were ‘bombs’ thrown towards his house this morning.
The windows of his immediate neighbours houses are shattered.
There are police here taking statements from the community.#sabcnews pic.twitter.com/qA1QjYAXhN
— Chriselda Zozi Lewis (Babes Wendaba) (@Chriseldalewis) March 20, 2023
South Africa braces for nationwide protests
South Africa braced for protests on Monday after a left-wing party called for a “national shut-down”, sparking fears of a repeat of unrest that turned deadly two years ago.
Authorities said there would be a heavy police presence to deal with any possible violence, after the third largest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) urged South Africans to take to the streets and bring the country to a halt.
“The president has instructed law enforcement agencies to ensure that we do not have to see the repeat of those scenes that we saw back in 2021,” President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Magwenya told a press briefing on Sunday.
“The state has a responsibility to ensure that citizens can go on about their day… in a normal way and when doing so, that they are safe and that they are not subjected to any anarchy or any form of violence.”
At least 350 people were killed in July 2021 as protests sparked by the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma spiralled into riots and looting.
The EFF is demanding Ramaphosa’s resignation over his handling of South Africa’s sickly economy, electricity shortages and stratospheric unemployment.
In a statement on Saturday, the party told would-be protesters their actions “must be militant and radical” but to behave “peacefully” and watch out for “agent provocateurs” attempting to hijack the strike.
“No-one can stop a revolution,” EFF leader Julius Malema told supporters on Friday.
Ports, parliament, border crossings and the Johannesburg stock exchange, among others, will be targeted as key protesting points, Malema has said.
Some businesses have been threatened “with looting and other forms of violence” if they remain open, Magwenya said.
Some have already opted to pull down their shutters.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said last week that officers would be “out in their numbers” to protect those who wished to work, conduct business or travel.
Others have said that fears of nationwide chaos were overblown.
A large trade union has said it will join the strike but others have distanced themselves from it.
South Africa’s economy tumbled below pre-pandemic levels in the last three months of 2022.
The country has been battered by high unemployment, soaring inflation and waves of blackouts caused by breakdowns and capacity shortfalls at state energy provider Eskom.
Ramaphosa last week suggested Malema was jostling for political relevance ahead of national elections next year.
The EFF is polling below 15 percent of the vote nationwide.
“We know of a planned protest. To say there will be a national shutdown is misleading,” the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, which coordinates security operations, said on Friday.
“Everything from business to services will be fully functional and operational and accessible. We are not going to allow lawlessness and acts of criminality.”
On Saturday, a Johannesburg court banned the EFF from shutting down schools, retail stores, businesses, trade and public roads as well as inciting violence, after South Africa’s leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), asked it to prohibit the protest.
“The EFF has every right to protest, but the party has no right to hold South Africa hostage in doing so,” said DA leader, John Steenhuisen. – AFP
Leader of the Soweto Parliament Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini claimed on Monday that the EFF was behind an attack on his home in Soweto.
He claimed at least two petrol bombs were thrown at his home, with one hitting the roof.
“Just after 4am I received calls from the entire neighbourhood saying there were bombs and gunshots going off. ‘We think it is at your house’. I received calls from people inside my house saying ‘We don’t know what to do. A bomb hit the roof and there was a second explosion in the yard’,” said Dlamini.
“You look at all my neighbours’ windows, they are all shattered so you can imagine the quality of the bombs.”
The house did not, however, suffer any damage.
Soweto acticvist Nhlanhla Lux has laid blame at the #EFF after his family home was allegedly petrol bombed this morning. He says about eight of his family members were inside the house when one of the bombs hit the roof.#NationalShutdown #soweto @TheCitizen_News pic.twitter.com/q8aNliWuK4
— Lunga_mzangwe (@lunga_mzangwe) March 20, 2023
Nhlanhla Lux: My house just got hit with two bombs, all my neighbour’s windows are shattered imagine my house. they bomb & kill my entire family.
The BOMB: pic.twitter.com/oupf5us9be
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) March 20, 2023
Law enforcement officers through the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) have in the last 12 hours arrested 87 protestors across the country for public violence-related offences, police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said on Monday.
“Since the beginning of the integrated deployments, the Natjoints together with the respective Provjoints have been monitoring the situation closely to prevent and combat any acts of lawlessness and criminality.
“Of the eighty-seven arrested, 41 were arrested in Gauteng, 29 in North West, 15 in Free State. There are also arrests in other provinces such as Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. Updates will be provided as and when information becomes available,” Mathe said.
#sapsHQ [UPDATE] Law enforcement officers have in last 12 hours arrested 87 protestors across the country for public violence. At least 24 300 tyres have been confiscated. The tyres were strategically placed for acts of criminality. #Nationalshutdown TMhttps://t.co/wfMHabp5sI pic.twitter.com/9kMGzdB42j
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) March 20, 2023
He said that at least 24 300 tyres have been confiscated.
“These were tyres that were strategically placed for acts of criminality. 6 000 were seized in the Western Cape, 4 500 in the Free State, 3 600 in Gauteng, 1 513 in the Eastern Cape and a few in other provinces,” said Mathe.
He continued: “The Natjoints re-affirms its commitment to serving and protecting both law abiding protestors and non-protestors. The Natjoints will not allow and tolerate any forms of lawlessness and acts of criminality. Anyone found to be contravening the law will be dealt with accordingly.
“Law enforcement officers are on high alert and will continue to prevent and combat any acts of criminality, maintain public order, protect the inhabitants of South Africa and their property as well as uphold and enforce the law.”
[BIRD EYE VIEW] At this hour.. @SAPoliceService the to the skies as the #NationalShutdown is underway. 87 people have been arrested for acts of public violence and intimidation. pic.twitter.com/Zlv6EZwUN9
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) March 20, 2023
President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to safeguard the hard-won freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the constitution Constitution.
Ramaphosa said that to protest “does not give anyone the right to damage property or cause harm to any person”.
“One person’s right to protest should in no way infringe on any other person’s right to life and dignity. It should not impede their freedom of movement and association, or their right to engage in their trade or profession without hindrance,” writes the president.
“It is well within the right of any person or organisation to call on fellow South Africans to freely join in acts of protest. But no one should be forced, threatened or intimidated into joining that protest,” Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly newsletter.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is confident that law enforcement agencies will be able to deal with any lawlessness that could arise during EFF’s protest, his spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said on Sunday during a media briefing.
“As much as the protest is guaranteed and protected under our Constitution, equally that right is not absolute, and that right is not a ticket to any form of anarchy or violence or disrupting or interrupting other people’s rights to go on with their lives,” Magwenya said.
News24 reports that SABC News journalists were attacked during the early hours of Monday morning while driving on the N2 highway in Cape Town.
The team was on duty to report protests as part of the EFF’s shutdown. A man threw an object at the journalists’ vehicle, injuring one of them. The SABC says its injured staffer was taken to hospital for a check-up.
Activist Nhlanhla Lux earlier on Monday called on business owners to join members of the Soweto Parliament to protect township businesses.
Shutdown – Soweto update 2
Business owners wake up and assist in protecting your businesses! pic.twitter.com/BPFUsY7Y16
— nhlanhlalux (@nhlanhla_lux_) March 20, 2023
Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Monday that 57 people had been arrested across the country.
“Most were found making fires, blocking roads and trying to prevent people from going to work. They were not peaceful, Cele said.
Cele said that Gauteng recorded the most arrests so far with the Free State following close behind and Eastern Cape recording the third-highest number of arrests.
He said around 24 000 were confiscated.
Those arrested included protesters in Braamfontein.
Cele also said that they had received a report of an attack in Dube, Soweto where a butchery was petrol bombed early on Monday morning.
He maintained, however, that the situation was mostly under control despite fires reported in several townships.
“At this point, it looks like the situation is normal. People are going to work,” he said.
57 people have so far been arrested – the Police Minister Bheki Cele.
24 300 tyres collected from ‘strategic areas’#sabcnews pic.twitter.com/yvxeylkMQU
— Chriselda Zozi Lewis (Babes Wendaba) (@Chriseldalewis) March 20, 2023
EFF protests erupt in some parts of SA
Protests have erupted in some parts of the country, with Times Live reporting that Durban metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Boysie Zungu said EFF protesters were in Link Road in Shallcross.
“Police are there to ensure there is peace and stability,” the report quoted Zungu as saayin.
There were unconfirmed reports of stoning of vehicles, the report said.
“We do not have that information,” said Zungu.
Now or Never !#NationalShutdown pic.twitter.com/g9C34Sol32
— EFF Gauteng (@EFFGautengProv) March 19, 2023
East London Right now #NationalShutdown pic.twitter.com/y8xX4k9Sj5
— Mr Smeg (@MichaelBucwa) March 19, 2023
News24 reports that Stun grenades have been fired to quell protesters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
A police spokesperson said there had been several arrests for blocking roads.
“We are not going to tolerate any lawlessness,” the report quoted Brigadier Athlena Mathe as saying.
WATCH: Skirmish in central Johannesburg as heavily armed police throws what looks like a stun grenade at protestors who heeded the call for a national shutdown by the EFF. pic.twitter.com/sDp5a6AKWg
— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 19, 2023
🟥BREAKING NEWS🟥The African Black Lawyers Foundation have launched an urgent court application in an attempt to interdict President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SANDF Deployment ahead of EFF planned national shutdown on Monday. #EFFNationalShutdown #NationalShutDown pic.twitter.com/KtYce6r2l8
— Central News (@fscentralnews) March 19, 2023
EFF National Shutdown | East london beachfront.@rsa_trucker pic.twitter.com/YOXyusdSJS
— Vehicle Trackers (@VehicleTrackerz) March 19, 2023
About 200 EFF members marched through the Kimberley CBD on Sunday night to create awareness about Monday’s planned national shutdown. They chanted as they marched through the streets and recruited members from SPU Rathga House and streets
Video: Soraya Crowie pic.twitter.com/cYiLpvr7je
— Vehicle Trackers (@VehicleTrackerz) March 19, 2023
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya says Monday will be a normal business day and that the President will attend to his duties as the leader of the ANC.
He also said that Ramaphosa directed law enforcement agencies so that citizens’ right to go about their normal business is respected.
Magwenya said it is the state’s responsibility to protect critical infrastructure and to ensure that citizens are not subjected to “anarchy or violence”.
[WATCH] President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya says Monday will be a normal business day and that the President will attend to his duties as the leader of the ANC. #NationalShutdown #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/7qiSmBqGBh
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 19, 2023
‘We’ve returned to the dark days of Apartheid,’ says EFF as Ramaphosa deploys 3 400 SANDF members
The EFF on Sunday rejected the deployment of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) ahead of its planned national shutdown on Monday.
Reports said that President Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed 3 474 SANDF members until April 17 to assist police under Operation Prosper.
According to Times Live, Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said on Sunday National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairperson Amos Masondo were informed of the military deployment, in co-operation with police, for the “prevention and combating of crime as well as maintenance, and preservation of law and order in South Africa”.
“The correspondence to the presiding officers, dated March 17, indicated that 3 474 members of the SANDF have been deployed, effective from March 17 to April 17.
“The employment is in line with section 201(2) (a) of the constitution and section 19 of the Defence Act. An amount of R166 562 058 is expected to be incurred for this deployment,” said Mothapo.
But the EFF slammed the move by Ramaphosa, saying the president has “declared war on the people of South Africa”.
“The dictator Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed 3 474 members of SANDF to suppress peaceful protests against his failed presidency and crush the calls for his resignation.
“This act demonstrates the bloodthirsty of the current government and the intolerance of the ruling party to dissent and opposition.
“South Africa has degenerated into a military state and the deployment of the army to suppress the constitutional right to protest means we have returned to the dark days of Apartheid,” the EFF said.
EFF Rejects The Deployment Of SANDF Ahead Of The National Shutdown pic.twitter.com/MzxoYaPQE5
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 19, 2023
Law enforcement on high alert as EFF’s shutdown looms
Police in the Western Cape stated that they are prepared for Monday’s shutdown, saying that they are well prepared for the protest and are on high alert with strategic and tactical deployments in place ready for any eventuality throughout the Province.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa said that the integrated forces comprising SANDF members, various SAPS units, metro police with law enforcement officials from different municipalities, traffic services, and a contingent of private security officials are operationally ready with deployments scheduled to commence at predetermined times in identified locations.
“As part of the ProvJoints operational plan, police officials on foot, horseback, in vehicles and motorbikes with air support at strategic positions are on hand to respond promptly and accordingly to incidents of lawlessness.
“The deployments will be enhanced utilising the integrated CCTV camera systems as well as other cutting edge technology,” Potelwa said.
Police pleaded with protestors to respect the rule of law “as law enforcement officials will not hesitate to take decisive action against those who break the law and infringe upon the rights of others”.
They have also warned social media users against posting and disseminating inflammatory content contained in videos and messages that seek to incite violence and spread falsehoods.
“Law enforcement officials will without hesitation invoke relevant pieces of legislation (Section 14 of the Cybercrimes Act and Section 18H of the Films and Publications Act) in relation to inappropriate social media posts,” Potelwa added.
‘We call on all fighters to protest vigorously within the confines of the law’ – EFF
With just a few hours left for its planned shutdown to kickstart, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called on its members to come out in “full force” on Monday, 20th March 2023 and “without fear”.
“This historic protest action must be executed everywhere in defence and within the confines of our democratic Constitution. We call on all protestors to be careful of agent provocateurs who will try and highjack or undermine this protest action by engaging in any form of violence.
“No one, not even the police, have the right to undermine a peaceful demonstration or protest. Thus, we call on all protestors of the National Shutdown to defend themselves from anyone who provokes them with violence, The Citizen quoted the EFF as saying.
The party said the right to protest is a “universal and inalienable right that no one should undermine”,
“Like we always said all protest action on 20 March must be militant and radical yet peacefully to register legitimate demands that affect our collective existence as a people. We call on all fighters to protest, and vigorously within the confines of the law.”
EFF shutdown: ‘This is surely an act of desperation’ – MKLWV
The uMkhonto weSizwe Liberation War Veterans (MKLWV) has reportedly labelled the EFF’s planned national shutdown as an act of desperation and has isolated itself from the protests planned for March 20.
“MKLWV will definitely not be participating in the planned shutdown. Anything that suggests the involvement of the MK members is a misrepresentation of what the organisation stands for and what MK stood for. It is untrue and must be strongly condemned,” The Citizen quoted Dan Hatto, MKLWV national convener, as saying.
“We fought hard for this democracy to allow it to be undermined by lawlessness. We also condemn any opportunistic attempt to exploit the country’s challenges for wrong reasons, particularly for individual gain.”
“This is surely an act of desperation and cannot be tolerated nor a repeat of Sharpeville be entertained, as a result of political immaturity, political intolerance and violence. We are assured by our law enforcement institutions that they will deal decisively with anarchists and unlawful behaviour of any kind,” Hatto added.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has urged law enforcement officers in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to enforce the law and to be firm ahead of Monday’s national shutdown.
According to EWN, Cele cautioned the officers to avoid deadly scenes similar to the July unrest.
Over 300 people lost their lives following riots and looting allegedly sparked by the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma, the report said.
“Anybody that breaks the law has got accommodation, they’ve got a new home and that’s a prison. It’s not your problem that the prison is going to be full, fill them. If they have no place to sleep it’s no problem if they sleep standing,” the report quoted Cele as saying.
Cele said the EFF leader’s call for protesters to “attack” was dangerous and irresponsible, Times Live reported.
“One thing that I’m beginning to detect is that there is a lot of provocation. Somebody yesterday issued a statement that their people must attack: that’s a war statement. So you can’t cry foul and say people are hard on you when you make a war statement,” said the minister.
“He said they must not use their phones or social media, but they must use person to person and … attack. He did not explain who to attack nor define the attack: whether that’s ordinary people who will be on the road or at the shops. It’s a broad statement [and I would love law enforcement to investigate that statement],” said Cele, according to the report.
EFF spokesperson Sinawo Tambo says that the red berets were not intending to break any laws and, therefore, the judgement by the High Court on Saturday affirmed the party’s right to protest.
The High court in Johannesburg dismissed the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s bid to have Monday’s national shutdown by the EFF declared unlawful.
The court, however, ruled that the EFF, its members, employees and officials are prohibited form shutting retail stores, businesses, trade and public roads, from instigating the blocking of roads and railway lines, and inciting violence.
“The court has affirmed that the EFF protest is a Constitutional right by refusing to declare the national shutdown as unlawful. So, for us it’s just a reaffirmation of our rights. We never declared any intention to burn any schools, closing schools [or] committing crimes. So, the court has just reaffirmed the laws of South Africa,” Eye Witness News quoted Tambo as saying.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola are in KwaZulu-Natal, assessing police readiness in the province.
According to eNCA, Cele has reiterated that police will be on the ground around the country on Monday.
He says the EFF’s planned shutdown must be peaceful.
“If Steenhuisen was to announce the same National shutdown, you would have gone with it” Julius Malema
The problem is that it is a black child of a domestic worker who, is he to tell us anything? @Julius_S_Malema
Source: 702#NationalShutdown #EFFNationalShutdown pic.twitter.com/RJaVsDZ7ef
— News Live SA (@newslivesa) March 17, 2023
‘Whether they kill or not kill, we will be on the streets of SA’ – Malema
Despite a court interdict handed down by the High Court in Cape Town preventing the EFF from causing disruptions during its scheduled shutdown on Monday, its leader Julius Malema told members that the protest will still go ahead as planned.
Malema addressed the branches of the EFF in Gauteng on Friday.
“Whether they kill or not kill, we will be on the streets of South Africa. We don’t care what the security cluster says or the judge says. No one can stop a revolution,” Malema said.
CIC Julius Malema Addresses the Branches of the EFF In Gauteng Ahead Of National Shutdown. https://t.co/CfhtncAo8U
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 17, 2023
He reminded members that the protest is intended to stand up against those responsible for prolonging the suffering of black people and to make sure that Cyril Ramaphosa steps down from his position as President of SA.
“I’m here to remind you that we’ve got an appointment on Monday. We have no money; no weapons. We don’t have machine guns. We only have the bodies of African people to put on the picket lines,” Malema said.
“Whether they kill or they don’t kill we will be on the streets of South Africa on Monday. We don’t care what the security cluster says, we don’t care what the judges say, no one can stop a revolution that its time has come. – EFF leader #JuliusMalema#Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/uoAAPnSeAy
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 17, 2023
“All types of intimidation have been issued by the state. All types of intimidation have been issued by private security guards. No private security guard or citizen has the right to shoot at another private citizen. If a private citizen shoots at you, you must protect yourself; respond fire with fire. We must never smile with anyone who wants to shoot us.”
“We will not provoke them or do anything unlawful. It is our right to protest and no charge, no President nor executive and minister shall stop this right. No one can take it away,” he added.
‘Employees expected at work on Monday,’ says Public Service and Administration
The department of public service has reportedly sent out a reminder to heads of departments in provinces and nationally to clear out any confusion amid the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s planned national shutdown on Monday.
The national shutdown on March 20 will call for an immediate end to load shedding and call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down.
According to the department’s director-general, Yoliswa Makhasi Monday is a normal working day, and employees are expected at work, reported IOL.
She said that heads of departments have been asked to ensure that the no work, no pay principle will apply to those who won’t report for duty and a circular in this regard has been sent to all heads of departments prior to the planned shutdown.
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) said it will not allow any barricading of national, provincial, and municipal roads during the planned protest, reports
On Monday, the red berets will lead a nationwide shutdown, calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down as Head of State.
The party said the protest would also reiterate calls for the country’s energy crisis to be resolved as soon as possible.
The High court in Johannesburg has dismissed the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s bid to have Monday’s national shutdown by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) declared unlawful.
The court on Saturday, however, ruled that the EFF, its members, employees and officials are prohibited form shutting retail stores, businesses, trade and public roads, from instigating the blocking of roads and railway lines, and inciting violence.
The High Court in Johannesburg has dismissed the DA’s application to have Monday’s EFF shutdown declared unlawful. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/90N0zX67I2
— Chriselda Zozi Lewis (Babes Wendaba) (@Chriseldalewis) March 18, 2023
National shutdown: ‘Don’t tell us to fold arms and do nothing’ – Vavi warns govt
Cape Town – South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi has voiced his support for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s planned national shutdown on Monday and rubbished suggestions that the protest will be characterised by violence and intimidation.
According to The Citizen, Vavi slammed the government as well as other political parties and organisations for spreading public panic about the protest.
“Our protest action is going to be peaceful, we want to emphasise this,
“We are not the products of violence. We do not advance violent agendas against society. We are not products of any kind of intimidation of robbing other people of their right to exercise [their freedom] accruing from the constitution of South Africa,” Vavi said while speaking at a media briefing in Joburg
He urged Saftu members to stay clear of any “agent provocateurs” that get involved in violence.
Vavi said the protest will signal to the government that South Africans will no longer stand by as the country deteriorates, reported EWN.
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“Everybody who believes that South Africa is now unsustainable and that we have reached a point of being a failed state knows where they should be on the 20th and that is on the streets of South Africa to send a message: don’t tell us to fold arms and do nothing.”
He added: “We’re not going to do a once-off demonstration and we go back to peace and normal. No, this is one of many shots we have been firing. And we are going to be firing endless shots until load shedding is addressed, until the crisis of youth unemployment, women unemployment is addressed, but we insist on peaceful demonstrations.”
Earlier this month, Saftu said it will be mobilising its members to join the EFF’s national shutdown.
Saftu said that food and transport had become more expensive yet workers’ wages had been declining while bosses’ profits had risen.
“There are more than 11 million unemployed people in South Africa. To live, the unemployed and lowest-paid workers must received basic income grant of R1 500 and a job guarantee scheme,” it said.
Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema has maintained that the national shutdown will 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”
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu