ANC KZN distances itself from 'Free Jacob Zuma' marches, motorcades in the province

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A man can be seen walking past graffiti that says "Free Zuma" in Durban.
A man can be seen walking past graffiti that says "Free Zuma" in Durban.
GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP
  • The ANC in KZN says marches and motorcades in the name of freeing Jacob Zuma are not sanctioned by the provincial structure.
  • A provincial party spokesperson said they were attending to issues of rebuilding after the unrest.
  • The eThekwini municipality has, however, given permission for those intending to take to the streets on Thursday and Friday.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says motorcades and marches, held in the name of freeing former president Jacob Zuma, and linked to protesting "racist attacks" in Phoenix, north of Durban, are not sanctioned by the provincial structure.

"We are not aware of this. There are individuals organising this. We do not know why they are coming to the provincial office," the ANC's provincial spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, said on Wednesday.

ALSO READ | I'm not afraid of holding Zuma accountable - Malema

Posters have flooded social media, with logos such as #ReleaseMsholoziNow.

One of the posters says the "Mother of all motorcades", which would include ANC branches, would drive to the party's provincial offices on Thursday.

The other calls for a #BlackLivesMatter march against racial discrimination in Phoenix, north of Durban, with a meeting point at the Durban City Hall. There were no times displayed.

While the provincial structure distanced itself from the protests, the eThekwini municipality's spokesperson, Mandla Nsele, said they were sanctioned by the City.

"The City is aware of the marches that have been planned for this week. All have been authorised, with the strict stipulation that the participants must adhere to Covid-19 regulations.

"The first march from Avoca to Phoenix was peaceful and no issues were reported. All marches are observed closely by law enforcement."

Ntombela said the party was an organisational structure and was trying to assist communities, not to undertake any demonstrations.

"The ANC is going to communities, engaging with communities and cleaning up areas. Those [who organised the demonstrations] are not part of the ANC. Those are individuals. We will see if they will come because we do not know who they are.

"We cannot account for this. ANC is doing things organisationally. There are members deployed throughout the province. We have engagements about Covid-19 and also calming down the situation in communities to try to sow harmony among races."

Phoenix, Zwelisha, Bhambhayi and Amaoti communities have been feuding for over a week after racial tensions between Indian and Black communities came to a head during the unrest.

Some Black community members were prevented from entering the Phoenix area, based solely on skin colour, while criminal elements attacked homes and businesses. The carnage left at least 20 people dead in Phoenix.

Ntombela said the party would not involve itself in court processes linked to Zuma.

"Msholozi is in a court process, and we have no control over court processes. That is the issue for the judiciary, the judges and lawyers. There are things we cannot do for the former president now, until he accepts the situation he is in. There are all those issues which must be navigated."

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