The South African government has expressed concerns over the Friday Shutdown campaign asserting that Friday, 7th April is a normal working day.
As culled from the South African Government Newsroom site, the government of South Africa warned that it wouldn’t tolerate “acts of civil disobedience.”
The Friday Shutdown campaign follows President Zuma’s reshuffling of the cabinet which saw the removal of Pravin Gordhan as the Finance Minister of the country.
South Africans pissed with the axing of Gordhan started the Friday Shutdown campaign on social media; calling on South Africans to shut down the country on Friday, 7th April.
Addressing the calls for Friday Shutdown, the government assured South Africans that Friday is a normal working day.
“We have noted social media messages which call for a shutdown of the country on Friday. The call made in these messages can have unexpected consequences especially for our fragile economy, business and communities.
“Government is of the view that South Africans can engage each other on differences through meaningful dialogue and through appropriate platforms.
“The social media messages are sent to bring the image of South Africa into disrepute, to disturb the economy and to create the impression of disorder and fear in communities,” read a statement from Government Communications.
Commenting on the Friday Shutdown issue, Donald Liphoko the Acting Director-General at Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) acknowledged that the public has a democratic right to embark on protest action.
Nonetheless, Liphoko remarked that the government won’t tolerate acts of civil disobedience.
“Whilst the public has a democratic right to embark on protest action,” Liphoko said, “government does not support acts of civil disobedience and the actions of a select few to infringe on the constitutional rights of the majority.”
“When citizens take to the streets illegally,” he continued, “we often witness violence, destruction of property and lawlessness. These illegal protests do not possess the characteristics of strengthening democracy. Those found guilty of any form of violence will face the might of the law,” added Liphoko.
“These illegal protests do not possess the characteristics of strengthening democracy. Those found guilty of any form of violence will face the might of the law,” Liphoko warned.
Above all, civil society organisations, business and society at large were encouraged to abandon their Friday Shutdown plans and work with the government to strengthen SA democracy, build a better nation and contribute to a better and safer Africa.