Police not aware of “SA shutdown” protest on Friday

2017-04-02 23:03
Protesters in George brave heavy rain. (Supplied)

Protesters in George brave heavy rain. (Supplied)

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Cape Town – National police on Sunday said they were not aware of protest action set to take place nationally next week over President Jacob Zuma and corruption.

However, the police had taken note of the message circulating on social media and the matter would be monitored by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, national police spokesperson Vish Naidoo told News24.

A message that went viral on social media at the weekend had called for every citizen, regardless of race or political affiliation, to take to the streets in protest this coming Friday.

“Do not go to work, or to school or do anything unless you're taking to the streets in protest,” it stated.

“Block highways, stand with your communities, go to political houses, go to prayer meetings, arrange your own marches. Do whatever you can to make your voice heard.”

The message urged people to join a nationwide shut down, and ended with the hashtags #ZumaMustFall and #SouthAfricaMustRise.

A Facebook event, titled “The day SA comes to a standstill #sawillrise” was being hosted by the Zuma Must Fall March and We are South Africans on Friday.

By Sunday night, at least 3 300 people had indicated they would participate.

48 hours

The organisers posted that they were working endlessly behind the scenes with updates on where people would be gathering in each city or town.

“We urge as many organisations as possible to come on board and make this the most monumental day SA has seen in a very long time,” they said.

Naidoo warned that certain processes needed to be followed for any march to take place. He also warned people to be wary of hoax messages doing the rounds on social media.

A subsequent message on the Facebook event page urged people to first sign up on the We Are South Africans website if they wanted to organise a related protest in their area.

“Don't just go out and protest. You are not allowed to. It is illegal and you are not protected. You need a strike permit. Let us rather co-ordinate this together as South Africans than run around doing our own thing and get jailed for an unprotected strike or any other nonsense they will cook up!”

They said at least 48-hour notice of a protest needed to be given to council. Participants were urged to refrain from violence.

Read more on:    protests  |  #zumamustfall

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