Police visibility heightened ahead of EFF protest

Friday, March 17, 2023

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) has mobilised maximum resources to heighten police visibility ahead of the Economic Freedom Fighters planned National Shutdown.

“NATJOINTS, working closely with our partners and stakeholders in the respective industries and sectors, have mobilised maximum resources to heighten police visibility with the aim of preventing and combatting any form of opportunistic crimes pre-, during and post the planned protest action,” Deputy National Commissioner of the SAPS responsible for Policing, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili said on Friday.

Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria Mosikili who is also the NaTJOINTS Co-Chair, said the respective PROVJOINTS have activated provincial multi-disciplinary deployments and operations as of today.

“This is 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.”

The Deputy National Commissioner’s comments comes ahead of Monday’s planned shutdown.

“This is our update to the country at large, that there will be no National Shutdown. We know of a planned protest. To say there will be a national shutdown is misleading. Everything from business to services will be fully functional and operational and accessible.”

Measures put in place

She said measures that have been put in place by the Security Cluster will enable businesses and services to operate and government and all modes of transport services will be accessible to members of the public.

 “Security will also be heightened at all our ports of entry, land, sea, and air. We assure travellers into and out of the country that there is no need to panic,” said Mosikili who also cautioned travellers to make provision for extra time factoring in security measures that will be in place to ensure the safety and security of everyone including tourists.

“As the NATJOINTS, we have a joint responsibility to protect everyone in our country and their property, including members of the international community.

“While every citizen has a right to protest, we want to reiterate that this right must be exercised in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of non-protesters. Prohibiting people's freedom of movement is a criminal offence. We will therefore enforce the law decisively in this regard.”

She added that it is the organiser’s responsibility 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.

“To this end, the NATJOINTS will not tolerate any lawlessness and any form of criminality, whichever way it manifests itself. It is therefore important to note that anyone who is found to be contravening the law will be dealt with accordingly.

“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,” she said.

In addition the NATJOINTS is also monitoring social media.

“The NATJOINTS 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, where social media users can actually be charged for intimidation and incitement to commit violence. 

 “Members of the public are cautioned against spreading messages that seek to mobilise communities to shutdown roads, intimidate and incite violence, as well as messages encouraging damage to economic sites.

“We have also noted instances where supposed mobilisation for the protest action has now extended into stores where our shoppers are going about their daily lives.

She said such acts are not only as being provocative, but also as a “deliberate attempt to instil fear and to bully businesses and shoppers into participating in the protest against their will.”

NATJOINTS has called on all people in South Africa to uphold the law and to say NO to any action aimed at breaking the country’s laws.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any wrongdoing and any suspicious activities to their nearest police stations or by calling the Crime Stop number 08600 10111. – SAnews.gov.za