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ANC applauds State security’s response during EFF shutdown

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ANC applauds State security’s response during EFF shutdown

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22nd March 2023

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer

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The African National Congress (ANC) said on Wednesday that it was pleased with the responsiveness of the State security machinery to their mandate to protect life and property during the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF's) national shutdown.

On Monday, the EFF embarked on a national shutdown, calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s resignation and for an end to loadshedding.

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“We have seen before that anarchic activities of this nature, what they have done to this country. We are still reeling from the effects of the uprisings of the July unrest that took place in this country last year, which claimed more or less 300 lives of people,” said ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula.

He said the State security’s preparedness ensured that the country was not plunged into chaos as “the organisers of the ill-fated so-called shutdown” intended.

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“Not only did they protect the protestors, but they also scuppered all attempts to plunge our country into disorder and mayhem,” Mbalula said.

Earlier this week government deployed 3 474 members of the South African National Defence Force across the country in response to the shutdown.

“The so-called shutdown failed to materialise because South Africans refused to be co-opted into an anti-democracy agenda that sought to undermine the authority of the State and remove a democratically elected government through nefarious and undemocratic means,” Mbalula stated.

He added that as the precursor to the Human Rights Day commemoration, the conduct of law enforcement agencies served as an exemplary example of how the country’s Constitution should be implemented in relation to the enforcement of the various laws of the republic.

He highlighted that this improvement in public order policing, as well as high levels of cooperation with communities, must be consolidated and sustained.

“The police on their own would not have dealt with the shutdown. It is because of the withdrawal of our people in participating in anarchy and chaos that this shutdown could not succeed,” Mbalula said.

The ANC reiterated its strongly held view that the EFF march was neither in the interest of the country nor did it advance the country’s hard-won democracy.

Instead, the ANC believes it showed that the EFF has no interest in building a cohesive nation.

The ANC commended the active citizenship and patriotism of civil society, the business community and individual South Africans who were resolute in rejecting the EFF’s attempts to “bully, coerce and intimidate them”.

“They firmly stood by the principles that are the cornerstone of our hard-won democracy,” said Mbalula.

He noted that the manner in which South Africans strongly and successfully repelled “desperate attempts by the EFF to paralyse the country and cripple the economy” indicated active and patriotic citizenship.

“The only way for us to rid ourselves of criminal elements in our communities is to ensure that we have an accountable, professionalised and ethical police service whilst strengthening a culture of cooperation with the women and men in blue,” he said.

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