Violent protests undermine our freedom - Zuma

2016-04-27 16:18
President Jacob Zuma (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

President Jacob Zuma (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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WATCH: Zuma, Ramaphosa commemorate Freedom Day in Limpopo

2016-04-27 14:48

Speaking during Freedom Day celebrations, President Jacob Zuma said government was introducing programmes that would ensure black people also played a role in the economy. WATCH

Giyani - President Jacob Zuma says violent protests are undermining the freedom and democracy for which many people fought and died.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

"Let me reiterate that our freedom was not free. It was fought for and many lives were lost for its attainment," Zuma told the crowd at the Giyani Stadium in Limpopo.

"We therefore have the collective responsibility to defend it as South Africans with the same vigour as when we fought for it."

Zuma said the country should unite and not allow anything to threaten the freedom and democracy that was fought for. He called on people to stop actions that undermined freedom, such as engaging in violence.

"For example, when people are angry, there is no reason for them to burn factories as it happened in KwaSithebe in KwaZulu-Natal recently. How do we call for job creation and then burn the very factories that are supposed to provide jobs?

"Schools, trains, libraries, clinics are all built to provide services and a better life. We must guard and protect these facilities in our communities. It is shocking that some people destroy these facilities so easily," said Zuma.

Building better communities

He said people should report such destructive elements to the police and work together to build better communities that jealously guard all facilities that are built to make their lives better.

"People should protest peacefully and with dignity in the democratic South Africa. We should isolate all those who promote violence and anarchy. We know that some within our communities believe such violence will make them popular, and try to use anarchy to build their political careers. Let us not allow this to happen in our name," said Zuma.

"We worked hard to build this country as millions of South Africans. It must not be destroyed by anarchists who have no interest in our well-being."

He called on South Africans to be advocates for their country and to market it. He admitted that the country faced challenges, but that they were outweighed by the positives. He said party politics should not impact on the South African brand.

"It should be possible for us to identify issues on which we shall unite, no matter what, and not allow party political competition to divide the nation. For example we should unite on celebrating the achievements that South Africa has scored in 22 years socially, economically and politically," he said.

"It is a fact that the country is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994," he added.

Read more on:    police  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  polokwane  |  protests

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