With just a few hours left for the planned, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called on its members to come out in “full force” on Monday, 20th March 2023, and “without fear.”
The red berets have organized the shutdown to demand that Ramaphosa step down and to protest against the constant bouts of load shedding that South Africa has experienced for months.
While Ramaphosa had on Friday warned the government would “not allow anarchy and disorder”, the EFF has spurred on its members to take to the streets.
“This historic protest action must be executed everywhere in defense and within the confines of our democratic Constitution. We call on all protestors to be careful of agent provocateurs who will try and hijack or undermine this protest action by engaging in any form of violence.
“No one, not even the police, have the right to undermine a peaceful demonstration or protest. Thus, we call on all protestors of the National Shutdown to defend themselves from anyone who provokes them with violence,” the EFF said.
The EFF said that the judgement by the High Court affirmed its right to protest after the court interdicted the party from shutting down any schools, trade, or public roads.
The court judgment, however, does state that the EFF and its members are prohibited from shutting down schools, stores, or businesses.
They also cannot stop any trade of traffic on public roads.
However, the court did not declare the nationwide protest as unlawful, as per the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) application to have the shutdown declared iilegal.
Protest must be militant
The EFF said the right to protest is a “universal and inalienable right that no one should undermine.”
“Like we always said all protest action on 20 March must be militant and radical yet peacefully to register legitimate demands that affect our collective existence as a people. We call on all fighters to protest, and vigorously within the confines of the law.”
Citizens must be protected
On Saturday, The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) urged the government to ensure that South Africans who are not “supportive” of the national shutdown march will be protected.
SAHRC spokesperson Wisani Baloyi said South African who do not support the national shutdown must be kept safe.
“The Commission calls on the government and the relevant ministries to ensure that persons who wish to exercise their rights, and who are not supportive of the protest actions of the EFF, are not intimidated or harmed as they go about their lives and livelihoods on 20 March 2023,” Baloyi said.
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