Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Gayton McKenzie calls for calm ahead of planned SA national shutdown

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi | IOL News |

South Africa’s Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie has added his voice to the planned protest on Monday, saying that it should not be used to stop people from going on with their lives.

McKenzie said while those who want to protest can go ahead and do it as the law allows them to, but those who do not want to take part should not be forced to join it.

The PA leader said the law was clear that the rights of individuals must be protected.

This is the same message that had been communicated by Ministers in the Security Cluster on the shutdown.

Ministers Bheki Cele, Thandi Modise, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and Ronald Lamola all said the rights of people not joining the march must be protected and respected.

This was in line with constitutional provisions and the law.

“No person should be forced to join the march. No person should be prevented from earning money. People can march, but should respect the rights of anyone not marching. We need high discipline from those marching and those against the march of (the) EFF,” said McKenzie.

Ministers in the Security Cluster had earlier assured South Africans they would be protected on Monday and police officers would be deployed across the country.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said they have drawn up a plan to deal with any disruptions and violence on Monday as they have been helped by reports from the independent panel of experts led by Professor Sandy Africa to avoid another July unrest.

Defence Minister Thandi Modise said they were on standby for any eventuality and if they were needed for support during the protest.

Minister in the Presidency for State Security Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the laws of the land and the Constitution were very clear that those who want to protest could do so, but it must be done in a peaceful manner and not violate the rights of those who wish not to take part.

Cele said they wanted to assure South Africans they would be protected on Monday.

He said not everyone supported the strike, and people could not be intimidated or bullied to support it or take part in it or close their businesses.

“Law enforcement officers will be out in their numbers to protect them while enforcing the law. Anyone who intimidates anyone who goes to work, barricades the roads or highways and uses any form of violence to stop people from going on with their lives will face the full might of the law,” said Cele.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said he fully supports what Cele is saying because the law allows people to protest but is against the use of violence or intimidation against those not taking part in the protest.

He said the state would be out in force to ensure it prevented violence.

“We are ready to protect the rights of citizens in this country. As Minister (Ntshavheni) was briefing, she said that everyone has got a right to protest, but you don’t have a right to trample on the rights of others to incite violence and so forth.

“The Constitution will be our guiding document and as the cluster we have all the capacity to to respond to the challenge the country is facing in regards to safety. That is why we are here to say as a country the Constitutional rights of all citizens will be protected,” said Lamola.

Ntshavheni said no government could be removed through violence or protest.

She said if anyone wanted to remove the current government, they must win elections.

Modise said, as the army they were ready if they were needed for deployment.

“There was a question on whether SANDF will be deployed. We are on standby,” said Modise.

She added South Africans must believe that the state has the capacity to protect them.