Go about your business on Monday, we are fully prepared: Cele on shutdown

16 March 2023 - 11:03
By Shonisani Tshikalange
Police minister Bheki Cele says law enforcement agencies are prepared for the EFF's upcoming shutdown.
Image: Elvis Ntombela Police minister Bheki Cele says law enforcement agencies are prepared for the EFF's upcoming shutdown.

Security cluster ministers have assured that Monday will be a normal working day and have urged everyone to go on with their business as usual, without fear.

Police minister Bheki Cele said on Thursday that law enforcement agencies will enforce the law.

“We want to reiterate that Monday will be a normal working day for all South Africans and no amount of threats will disrupt the norm. We assure every citizen that they must and should go on with their business as usual without any fear from anyone,” he said.

The EFF has planned a national shutdown for March 20, calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign and an end to load-shedding.

Cele said the security cluster is fully prepared and will deal with any disruption caused by the protest.

“Law enforcement officers will be out in their numbers enforcing the law. Anyone who intimidates, stops anyone from going to work, barricades the roads and highways, and uses any form of violence to try to stop our people from going on with their lives will face the full might of the law.”

Cele also cautioned against spreading messages of fear or intimidation, or inflammatory statements that could incite violence.

“This is a criminal offence. We are aware of many social media accounts claiming that hundreds and thousands of followers are being mobilised to support the protest. The majority of communities and various sectors of society, including Santaco [the South African National Taxi Council], the Road Freight Association and organised structures within communities, have rejected this call.”

Cele said the security cluster will closely monitor the situation throughout the country and act swiftly and decisively against any threats or disruptions.

“The constitution guarantees the right to protest peacefully and within the ambit of the law, and protesters must not infringe on the rights of others.

LISTEN | Don’t try us, we’re not scared’: Malema says protesters must defend themselves

“Our law-enforcement agencies, through the NatJoints, will ensure multidisciplinary deployments and the necessary contingency plans are already in place. The NatJoints will brief the nation on its plans for the protest,” he said, adding that all government services will be available as normal.

“Heads of government departments and accounting officers in the public service will continue to ensure our citizens receive the services they expect from their government. We encourage our communities to report any form of criminality and intimidation to their nearest police station or call the Crime Stop number.”

Cele commended those who have declined to support the shutdown.

TimesLIVE

Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.