PAC leader slams govt for pre-empting violence during national shutdown

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The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leader Mzwanele Nyhontso has slammed those who are predicting that the planned national shutdown will be violent.

He has criticised government for mobilising security forces ahead of the protest. These include the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) met on Friday ahead of the protest.

  NATJOINTS briefing ahead of shutdown:


The PAC is one of the organisations that supports and will participate in the protest which the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has initiated. He says the protest is not about the EFF, but the state of the nation under President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“We are participating in the march. We are participating because the march is not about the EFF. The march is not about one political party. The march is not about comrade Julius Malema. It is about the African people. The march is about what affects African people every day. The march is about electricity and all of us affected by electricity. The march is about corruption. And all of us can see there is corruption in this country. The march is about the State President because we can’t have a President who can’t explain why there were dollars in the mattresses and nobody wants to talk about that, and that’s wrong. Now the citizens must stand up. The citizens must wake up and they must fight for what rightfully belongs to them. And what rightfully belongs to them is freedom, it’s democracy”.

“It’s very interesting that everybody from the State President to the Minister of Defence, Minister of Police, Commissioner of Police that they are threatening South Africans who are doing what is democratically guaranteed in their constitution. They are threatening. It’s them who are saying there is going to be violence,” Nyhontso insists.


Nyhontso says the national shutdown day is significant,

“We don’t know what EFF saw on the date, but it is significant because, as I was saying it is call for nation to action. Now the EFF is calling on the nation on the 20th against what it deems a wrong administration of the ANC, and we agree. Now for us, we are going to partake on the 20th of March in Gauteng, all over the country. And from there we won’t sleep because we will march to Sharpeville to commemorate Sharpeville/Langa Massacre. It’s not even Human Right’s Day. It’s Sharpeville/Langa massacre. As owners of the day, we were not consulted when it was changed by the ANC and their friends”, says the PAC Leader.

“There is also another coincidence here. On the eve of 21st March, Sobukwe wrote to the then Police Commissioner who was General Rademeyer at the time. And he told him the PAC was going to embark on a non-violent campaign, so please talk to your boys because we will be absolutely non-violent. And these ones are doing the same thing. Malema has done the same call that there is not going to be any violence and there will be no agent provocateur, including the PAC. We have got our own marshals. We are going to make sure that there is no agent provocateur, but the police are provoking us. This is also what happened in Marikana. This is what the President did in Marikana to say there must be a concomitant action. And he is saying it now, he is waring us”.


Nyhontso added that he is surprised that the two security cluster Ministers will be on standby.

“The Minister of Defence even said they are on standby. Standby as what? Is she going to be on standby? Is Bheki Cele going to be on standby or he is going to use the APLA (Azanian People’s Liberation Army) members who are deployed in SANDF to kill us as leaders of APLA? Are they going to use MK Cadres because they are soldiers, to shoot at us? Why are they on standby when we are shutting down? Taxi industry is shutting down every day.  Whenever did you see soldiers being sent there? Today [Friday, 17 March} the ANC is in Tshwane. Did you see soldiers there and police? Last week the Democratic Alliance was in Luthuli House, why are they doing this, [is it] because we are not South African enough?”

“History is repeating itself. This is what happened in 1960. On the eve of the 21st of March, Sobukwe made a call. He invited everyone including ANC. And the then ANC Secretary-General Duma Nokwe wrote back to say the ANC cannot join an unorganised, unspontaneous struggle that was not going to be a success. It was only after they saw that the march was a success, that their leaders, including Nelson Mandela, decided to burn their pass laws. Now, history is repeating itself, Julius Malema is making a call. A call to a nation for action. Now we are heeding that call.  It doesn’t’ matter who makes the call. This time EFF has made the call, Sobukwe made the call. Now Malema is making the call. What is wrong when we are joining the call. We are going to join it. It is the right thing to do, to complain in South Africa because the constitution guarantees the rights for all of us,” Nyhontso explains.

Nyhontso has rejected the calls that the national shutdown should be called off. Thirty-nine organisations have criticised the move to shut down the country and calling for it to be called off. These include Defend our Democracy and Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).

OUTA’s Stefanie Fick on the national shutdown:

Berlin Wall around Stellenbosch mafias”

However, Nyhontso says despite all the calls against it, the protest will go ahead.

“I have seen those organisations. What do they stand for? All of them they stand to build a Berlin Wall around Stellenbosch mafias. All of them. Why are they complaining? Why are they telling us to put off the march?  Are they happy with load shedding? Are they happy with corruption? Are they happy with poverty in this country?  Are they happy with crime?  Are they happy with the President who is hiding billions? Are they happy with what is happening in this country every day? What kind of organisations are these, if they are not handled somewhere, where are they getting their mandate? We get our mandate from our own constituencies. Where are they getting their mandate from?”

The PAC leader says those who predict that the protest will be violent, will be surprised.

“We are not going to be violent. I think the State will be violence against us, because the state all of a sudden, they’re blood thirsty beasts, but you know what we fear, f……..l. We can’t be scared to be killed. So many people died for this country. And that they died for has not yet been attained. So, we are not scared. If they feel that they are going to kill us, sure, they must kill us, but it is better to die for a cause that will live than to live for a cause that will die as Steve Biko would say.”