Government condemns disorderly protest conduct

Government has expressed its disappointment at reports of learners being taken out of schools, public infrastructure and business properties being damaged and the disruption of public transport in and around the City of Tshwane.

“It is… disappointing that today’s protests organised by opposition parties have been marred by acts of violence, as well as actions that interfere with the rights of other South Africans,” the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said on Tuesday in a statement.

GCIS said acts of violence have no place in constitutional democracy and those actions undermine the democratic rights of other South Africans.

The Constitution states that every person in South Africa has a right to protest, as long it is done in a peaceful manner.  

“Government respects, protects and promotes the right of every person in South Africa while they express their rights to protests. However, any public protest action has to be done in accordance with the strict observance of the law.  One of the most fundamental requirements for a lawful protest is that it should be done in a peaceful manner,” GCIS said.

Government has urged the organisers of Tuesday’s marches to call on their members to conduct themselves in accordance with the law.  

“Violence, acts of intimidation and interference with those not participating is in breach of the law and the rights of those not participating in these protests.

“Law enforcement agencies have been deployed throughout the country to ensure that the laws of the country are respected,” GCIS said.

Government will not allow anyone to conduct themselves in a manner that infringes on the rights of other South Africans.

Anyone who feels that their rights are being infringed upon should report the perpetrators by calling the police toll-free number 086010111. –SANews.gov.za