National Shutdown: South Africa on High Alert as Economic Freedom Fighters Prepare for Mass Protest

South Africa is preparing for a planned National Shutdown led by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Monday, March 20, 2023. In response, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), which is made up of various government departments, has updated the nation on the security measures they have put in place.

The NATJOINTS has mobilized maximum resources to heighten police visibility with the aim of preventing and combating any form of opportunistic crimes pre-, during and post the planned protest action. The respective PROVJOINTS have activated provincial multi-disciplinary deployments and operations to ensure that there is no ill-intended disruption on the plans of those who have to work, travel, or study, or perform any other business at any point during this semi-long weekend.

While every citizen has the right to protest, the NATJOINTS emphasized that this right must be exercised in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of non-protesters. The organiser’s responsibility is to ensure that their participants or supporters at the demonstration or gathering abide by the law and that the laws of the country are observed and respected, with no related incidents of lawlessness taking place.

The NATJOINTS will not allow any barricading of national, provincial, and municipal roads. Public violence, the burning of tyres, and placing of rocks and debris to blockade roads, as well as looting will not be allowed. The destruction of property whether it be private or public property, as well as business and economic sites, is against the law.

The Security Cluster is also closely monitoring the situation and the social media mobilisation that is currently unfolding. Incitement of violence through any platforms including social media, as well as the sharing of inflammatory messages, are criminal offences according to the Cyber Crimes Act.

The NATJOINTS encourages the youth of this country not to involve themselves in any form of criminality which could lead to them obtaining a criminal record, thus jeopardising their own ability to secure employment in the future.

The Security Cluster is calling upon communities to work with them by distancing themselves from any acts of lawlessness, in the best interest of the country. Communities are urged to report any wrongdoing and any suspicious activities to their nearest police stations or by calling the Crime Stop number 08600 10111.

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