EFF’s threat to national key points is criminal – Mashaba

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has taken his frustrations to the head of state ahead of the planned EFF-led nationwide shutdown march on Monday.

Mashaba has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to prevent what he termed the “EFF’s anarchy”.

He said he wrote the letter on behalf of ActionSA and all law-abiding South Africans to urge government to show leadership and prevent the EFF from plunging the country into chaos.

“As you are aware, the EFF has threatened to shut down South Africa on the 20th of March 2023, and has explicitly threatened individuals, businesses and even school children with violence and looting,” wrote Mashaba.

“We unequivocally condemn this behaviour and call on you to take immediate action to prevent this intolerable disruption to South Africa’s already ailing economy.

“I have been contacted by various business leaders, including representatives of major international corporations, who have told me that they are closing their businesses, at a massive cost on Monday, to protect employees and premises against EFF’s threats.”

The letter reads further: “Each of these leaders has told me that the president and government’s silence on the shutdown has been a driving factor behind their decision.

“Business leaders are deeply concerned about government’s silence on this continued and clear threat to our democracy, and the silence is further damaging business confidence.

“We cannot allow a radical minority to dictate the economic activity of our nation, especially when we are already facing significant barriers to improving our society for all.

“The EFF’s stated threat to national key points, including OR Tambo [International Airport] and ports of trade is not only irresponsible but criminal.”

Mashaba also urged Ramaphosa and government to uphold the constitution and the laws of the country by protecting businesses and citizens.

“Allowing the EFF to continue with their criminality will send the message to South Africans and the world that violence and thuggery is a legitimate form of protest. We cannot allow this to happen,” he wrote.

“Political demonstrations are a constitutional right, but they must happen within the ambit of our laws. What the EFF is proposing and encouraging its members to do clearly falls outside of what is legally permissible.”

Mashaba reiterated that as he represents all peace-loving South Africans, he urges Ramaphosa to use his authority by commanding law-enforcement agencies to put an end to attempts by the EFF to conduct what he termed unlawful protests.

“We call on the SAPS [police] and SA National Defence Force to be on standby to prevent looting and damage to property. Preventing the EFF’s actions is not about suppressing political dissent, it is about stopping violence and anarchy.

“It is about showing those who seek to divide and destroy our nation that South Africans are above such behaviour, and that we will not be dictated to by criminals.”

Responding to Mashaba’s letter, EFF spokesperson Sinawo Thambo called him an insignificant irritant.

“We couldn’t care less what Herman Mashaba has to say. He is an insignificant irritant who cannot do anything about the principled call for a national shutdown,” Thambo said.

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