Police detectives and the Hawks are investigating complaints of intimidation and incitement to violence via social media in connection with Monday’s planned nationwide shutdown, according to the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS).
The NATJOINTS, which consists of various departments including the State Security Agency, the South African Police Service, and the South African National Defence Force, has assured South Africans of their safety during the planned shutdown.
NATJOINTS’ Chairperson Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili says they have mobilised maximum resources to heighten police visibility throughout the country on Monday.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has threatened a national shutdown calling for amongst others, an end to load shedding and for President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign.
Briefing the media in Pretoria, Lt General Mosikili says they have activated provincial multi-disciplinary deployments and operations from Friday to ensure that there is no disruption for those who have to work, travel or study over the weekend.
She says citizens’ rights to protest should not be abused. “While every citizen has a right to protest, we want to reiterate that the right to protest must be exercised in a manner that does not infringe on non-protestors. Prohibiting freedom of movement is a criminal offence, we will therefore enforce the law decisively in this regard. Section 17 of our constitution demands that law enforcement agencies ensure that the right to picket is not abused to the detriment of the stability of the country and safety of people.”
General Mosikili cited Section 17 of the Constitution, which demands that law enforcement agencies ensure that the right to picket and present petitions, is not abused. She says detectives from the Hawks and SAPS are investigating attempts to mobilise protesters at shopping centres and to incite violence on social media platforms.
NATJOINTS says criminality will not be allowed. “The Natjoints ensures members of the public that enforcement of the law will be executed to ensure stability in the country. This is the update to the country at large that there will be no shutdown. We know of a planned protest. To say there will be a protest is misleading. Everything from business to services will be fully functional. We are not going to allow lawlessness and acts of criminality,” explains Lt General Mosikili.