Action needed against Protests which turn to pure thuggery
by Ald Tania Campbell — DA Leader in Ekurhuleni
and Cllr Jaco Terblanche — DA Shadow MMC for Community Safety
and Cllr Senzi Sibeko — DA Shadow MMC for Economic Development and DA Ekurhuleni Regional Chairperson
Date: 12 July 2021
Type: Media Statement
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ekurhuleni has condemned, in the strongest terms, the calls and acts of violent protest action within our city.
As we’ve seen over the last few days, protest action, in the name of “free Zuma” is no longer, simply a march and a protest, but has turned into large-scale looting, with many businesses plundered, infrastructure damaged and millions in business revenue lost as trucks are torched.
The City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) cannot afford a shutdown of its already ailing economy and cannot endure the destruction of its fragile infrastructure.
The ANC and its coalition partners* are already battling to keep up with its general maintenance programs, and to have its infrastructure damaged will set the metro back even further years and the ultimate costs will be borne on residents, who are already hard hit by the continuous lockdowns and rate increases.
The Constitution of South Africa allows for peaceful protests, however, the riots unfolding are uncalled for and are against the lockdown regulations.
The Acting ANC appointed Mayor, Cllr Lesiba Mpya, indicated that the City will not allow any acts of violence and will take immediate action. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case, as our policing services are stretched to capacity and protests continue in our City Business Districts (CBDs).
We need Public Order Policing units deployed to all hotspots to arrest these opportunistic thugs, and our Disaster Management Services (DEMS) to remove burning objects and clear the roads so residents can commute safely.
It is time for the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) to work together to get this situation under control and restore law and order.
The rule of law must be restored if we are to protect residents and businesses, and the DA will be doing everything in our power to achieve this. Continuous threats of violence put our democracy at risk and this must be condemned. Our nation should never be held to ransom by a few whose protest is no longer about the course but simply criminal.
*ANC Coalition Partners: African Independent Congress (AIC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA)
Ald Tania Campbell
DA Leader in Ekurhuleni
Cllr Jaco Terblanche
DA Shadow MMC for Community Safety
Cllr Senzi Sibeko
DA Shadow MMC for Economic Development
DA Ekurhuleni Regional Chairperson