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KwaZulu-Natal Government calls for calm following violent #FreeJacobZuma protests.

Caleb Tayi

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government is calling for calm and maximum adherence to the rule of law amid growing threats to shut down the province through violent protests.

This morning the province experienced a number of scattered attempts to bring the province to a grinding halt as major roads and highways including the N2 and N3 were targeted. The M7 which is a strategic cargo transit route to the Port of Durban and other provincial and municipal links were also affected.

Several vehicles were reportedly stoned and millions worth of public infrastructure damaged resulting in many commuters not being able to reach their places of work.

Police say a comprehensive multi-disciplinary provincial security plan has been developed and all law enforcement agencies are on high alert as they attend to this unfortunate and unlawful situation taking place in the province.

It is believed that those behind the protests are people that are opposed to the incarceration of former President of the Republic, His Excellency Jacob Zuma. 

Commenting on this morning’s development, Premier Zikalala called for utmost discipline and for protesters to express their anger through legitimate and peaceful platforms. 

 “We understand the extreme anger of the people who are protesting. As a country and province we find ourselves in a very unusual and unique situation wherein we are dealing with the arrest of a former President of the ANC and the country. We are therefore dealing with very challenging times. However we call on those who are protesting to do so through peaceful means and to avoid violence and destruction at all costs,” said Premier Zikalala.

“We fully comprehend the feelings of the community, but unfortunately violent and destructive protests often affect or harm even the people who are not involved, and even those who share the very same pain and concerns of the protesters,” concluded Premier Zikalala.

Premier Zikalala also cautioned on the impact of illegal gatherings under Adjusted Risk Level-4 and the impact on Covid-19 infections. Health experts have also warned that the rate of infection in the province has now hit double digits in the majority of the  districts. 

“We have been thoroughly briefed on the security situation on the ground and we can assure the people of the province that all law-enforcement authorities are now on high alert and are addressing the incidents as they evolve. Again we must not allow the current situation to divert us from our known culture of respect and Ubuntu,” said Premier Zikalala.

Premier Zikalala said the provincial government will urgently convene the Crime Justice and Security Cluster (JCPS) meeting to further assess the situation and review strategies in dealing with such threats and violence.

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