Anti-Zuma Protest: Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane said all marches in Tshwane will be policed despite Tshwane court ruling in favour of the National Shutdown March.
The Save South Africa group and the SA Communist Party in Tshwane, on Thursday evening, had received a court order, telling them to go on with today’s protest in Tshwane, after they had approached the court at noon on Thursday.
The decision to table the matter to the court was taken just hours after the Tshwane Metro Police Department declared the march ‘illegal’, no permission was given for the so-called “people’s march” on the Union Building.
Briefing the media after the court ruling, Phahlane insisted that the protest is illegal, despite the ruling, adding that the anti-Zuma protest will be policed whether “legal or illegal”.
Reading from two documents from the metro police, the acting commissioner said organisers of the protest are yet to be granted permission to march today.
He claimed the police has not been officially informed about the court ruling, insisting that the march is illegal and would be policed come rain or shine.
“For now, the marches are illegal. We are communicating facts here, we can’t talk about what we don’t know. The police will not just take illegal marchers in the hundreds and thousands, a case docket will be opened and it will be the organisers that will deal with the fallout,” Phahlane said.
In the wake of the acting commissioner’s briefing, a member of the group slammed the acting police commissioner on Friday for being misinformed about the anti-Zuma protest.
Save SA’s Mark Heywood said: “Unfortunately General Phahlane has not been properly briefed by his staff. Either that or he is being deliberately misleading. We have permission now from the Magistrate Court giving permission for the march from Church Square to the Union Buildings between 11 am and 4 pm.”
Some pro-Zuma gatherings started taking place as early as 6 am on Friday, with different protest groups coming across each other on the streets. Some people in Pretoria and Cape Town even spent the night in the cold, ahead of the countrywide demonstrations.
So far, events are gradually unfolding across most areas in the country.
In Cape Town, truck drivers have made sure that their voices get heard, calling for the country’s number citizen to step down.
In Johannesburg, over 200 MK Military Veterans have been positioned at the ANC headquarters Luthuli House. Those 600 new ‘security’ officials arrived this morning to protect President Jacob, the ANC and the monumental building.
In the meantime, the government has appealed for orderly behaviour during the countrywide protests.
— Sikelelwa Mdingi (@SikiGeyaMdingi) April 7, 2017
“Those who are planning to participate in the marches must do so peacefully…must cooperate with law enforcement agencies who will be deployed to serve and protect the citizens and property,” said Communications Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo.
Activities going on across different areas in Johannesburg indicate that several other groups are also marching in support of president Jacob Zuma.
Ordinary ANC supporters were seen dancing, jumping up and down with the MK veterans at Luthuli House while others took their gyration straight to Beyers Naurde square.