Protesters must obey the law: President

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has appealed to communities to protest within the ambit of the law and in a peaceful manner.

Recently, communities in Malamulele, Majakaneng, Mohlakeng took to the streets to protest against the delivery of services.

Malamulele has been on a lock down for more than a month, with residents demanding their own municipality. Locals have prevented learners from attending school and have razed four schools since January.

Last week, roads were barricaded with burning tyres in Mohlakeng, outside Randfontein. Demanding better service delivery, locals set alight a library, economic hub, maternity clinic, home affairs offices as well as the Mayor, Sylvia Thebenare's, house.

In Majakaneng, residents blockaded the N4 freeway between Rustenburg and Brits because of a lack of water in the area.

“We are a democratic state and recognise the community's right to protest. We however appeal that these protests should be within the ambit of the law and must be peaceful as stated in the Constitution,” said President Zuma.  

This emerged during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday evening. The SONA is an annual address were the President provides government’s programme of action for the year ahead as well as gives updates on the plans announced in the previous year’s speech.

Public order incidents

According to President Zuma, police successfully brought under control 13575 recorded public order incidents. These comprised of 1907 unrest-related and 11 668 peaceful incidents. 

The President said the national security cluster will continue working harder together to fight crime and to create safer communities, especially for women and children.  

“We are making progress in fighting crimes against women and children.”

He announced that the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit has secured 659 life sentences against perpetrators of crimes against women and children.

Fight against corruption

Turning on corruption, President Jacob Zuma said the fight against corruption continues to be taken forward by the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee.

Government has in place seven anti-corruption institutions and 17 pieces of legislation which are intended to combat corruption. 

“To prevent corruption and promote ethical governance, in December I signed into law the Public Administration and Management Act which amongst others prohibits public servants from doing business with the State. “

This, he said, demonstrates a concerted effort by government to break the back of this scourge in the country.

In the 2013/14 financial year, 52 persons were convicted in cases involving more than R5 million.

Thirty one public servants were convicted in the first quarter of 2014/15 and freezing orders to the value of R430 million were obtained.

He said the year 2015 is the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. 

“It is the year of going the extra mile in building a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.”  – SAnews.gov.za

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