‘Stop the violence’: ANC’s instruction to leaders over KZN Zuma turmoil
The ANC has called on party leaders in KwaZulu-Natal and national executive committee deployees to stem violence during protests over the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.
In a statement on Saturday, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party has instructed the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee and NEC members deployed in the province to quell violent protests.
ANC groupings describing themselves as Zuma supporters blockaded freeways such as the N3 and N2 and torched 28 trucks on Friday.
They said they would continue doing so unless Zuma is released from the Estcourt prison, where he began serving a 15-month jail term on Wednesday after the Constitutional Court found him guilty of contempt.
The ANC statement reads:
“The ANC is concerned by the ongoing violence that is gripping some parts of KwaZulu-Natal. The destruction of property and infrastructure and looting accompanying these violent protests must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
“The ANC recognises and respects the rights of every South African to protest peacefully and unarmed and freely to express their views on any matter of concern. However, in exercising their constitutional rights, citizens must respect the rights of others and refrain from breaking the law or using violence.
“In a constitutional democracy any matters of concern must be expressed through peaceful and legitimate channels.
“We are concerned that the destruction of property and impeding the functioning of the economy will undermine efforts to create jobs and improve the lives of citizens.
“The ANC has instructed the provincial executive committee and NEC deployees to KwaZulu-Natal to intervene immediately and engage our structures and all relevant stakeholders. Bringing peace and stability to affected areas is a priority for the ANC and the democratic movement.
“The ANC urges law-enforcement agencies to act firmly and expeditiously, within the law, against any form of lawlessness, public violence, damage to property and disruption of economic activity and service delivery.
“We wish to commend the police for doing their best to deal with an extremely difficult and volatile situation.”