National shutdown will not lead to destruction, death: Floyd Shivambu

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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Deputy President Floyd Shivambu says Monday’s national shutdown will not lead to destruction or death.

Members of the EFF and its supporters will hold protests across the country against the rolling blackouts. They have also called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign.

According to Shivambu, who spoke to the SABC, the shutdown will be a peaceful protest. He believes the march is justified.

“It is disingenuous to compare a national shutdown, a led national shutdown, it is disingenuous to compare that to the July 2021 unrest. We have led so many protests as the EFF. There has not been a single life lost. We have marched to Eskom, we have marched to the JSE, we have marched to here at the SABC on several occasions, we have marched to different municipal offices, and we have marched in the mines. There has never been a single life lost. We have marched to parliament; there has never been a single life lost, there has never been anyone who was hospitised due to the marches of the EFF, which are led in a disciplined and focused way.”

‘Peaceful march’ 

Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has reassured South Africans that their planned shutdown march on Monday will be peaceful.

The federation has reiterated that their demonstration will not be marred by violence and there is no agenda of violence against society.

The federation’s General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says they will not tolerate any form of intimidation including the robbing of citizens and have urged the protests to be peaceful.

“Monday is a shut down and this is the point we must emphasise now, And this is the point that we must emphasize now, if you have an agenda of throwing stones or petrol bombs, or burning property or damaging infrastructure you are not one of us. Our demonstration must be peaceful and the communicated message is that we are not the barbarians that they are painting us to be. It has to be a peaceful demonstration.”

Saftu says it will be joining the EFF national shutdown set for the 20th of March: Vavi

July 2021 unrest

Police Minister Bheki Cele earlier urged the police not only to protect South Africans and their properties but also to ensure that there is no repeat of the July 2021 riots in which more than 300 people died and about R50 billion in estimated losses to the economy following the burning, destruction and looting of businesses.

“Many, many South Africans are on your side. Many South Africans don’t want this nonsense to happen. And this nonsense must not happen. And you are there to make sure that this nonsense doesn’t happen. So don’t disappoint South Africans. Go back in July 2021 and take an oath, your double oath that, that is not going to happen again in your own presence. South Africans must be safe, their property must be safe.”