ANC condemns violent threats ahead of #SAunites

2017-04-06 11:20
(Phill Magakoe, AFP)

(Phill Magakoe, AFP)

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Cape Town - The African National Congress has slammed reports of people seeking to "take up arms" in the name of the organisation ahead of a planned "day of action" nationwide on Friday.

The party said in a statement on Thursday that all citizens have the right to protest peacefully and unarmed against President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle, and the party has no plans to intervene in, or start a protest, in its own right.

"The ANC is concerned at reports of sporadic violence and intimidation in the run-up to the planned so-called ‘day of action’ on April 7," the statement read.

"Such actions have no place in democratic South Africa and threaten to turn the country back to a time where civic activism by citizens was stifled in the name of ‘preserving law and order.’"

'Defence marches'

It also said people have the right to opt out of any protest, and should not be coerced into participating either.

The ANC also distanced itself from potential "defence marches" to its Johannesburg headquarters Luthuli House.

The KwaZulu-Natal branch of the MK military veterans association said it would send 600 soldiers to Luthuli House under branch chairperson Themba Mavundla, City Press reported.

This despite MKMVA general secretary Dumisani Nduli telling News24 on Monday that the MK had no plans nationally to get involved in the protests.

"We condemn in the harshest possible terms reports of people seeking to take up arms in the name of the ANC. Such behaviour has no place in a democratic society," the ANC statement continued.

"As the planned day of protests approaches, the ANC calls on all South Africans to organise in a calm and measured fashion.

"We should not allow inflammatory rhetoric from certain elements, including on social media, to damage our fragile social fabric and turn South Africans against each other."

The party encouraged citizens to report any incidents of illegality, intimidation or coercion to the relevant law enforcement authorities.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday announced the party's official #MarchForChange through the streets of the Johannesburg city centre, where it will march to Mary Fitzgerald Square.

The Freedom Front Plus meanwhile on Thursday said it would participate in SaveSA's planned march from Church Square to the Union Buildings in Pretoria at 10:00.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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