DURBAN – ETHEKWINI Municipality Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has moved to reassure residents that there are plans in place to ensure protection as rumours of a planned shutdown circulate on social media.
Kaunda held a meeting with the city’s law enforcement stakeholders on Friday where safety plans were consolidated.
“I am satisfied with the level of planning and call on members of the public to remain calm as police are on top of the situation. We want to assure the people of eThekwini that all law enforcement agencies are working together to ensure that people’s lives and properties are protected and safe. We have also activated our community crime fighting structures to work with police and share information timeously if they notice any suspicious activity in their communities,” he said.
Kaunda said Metro Police were maintaining a strong presence in all areas that had been identified as hotspots.
“We also want to make a call to members of the public to desist from disseminating information that might cause panic and incite violence,” Kaunda said.
Meanwhile, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has condemned the use of its banner on posters for the shutdown.
“We are saddened by the misuse of our logo in the planned chaotic unrest, and we condemn the behaviour in the strongest terms. The ANC is not aware of, nor has it planned, any unrest. We are seriously aggrieved by the fact that people have the audacity to drag the logo of the liberation movement in a chaotic conduct, that has a potential of perpetuating and wreaking havoc in the province,” ANC spokesperson in KZN Nhlakanipho Ntombela said.
He said the ANC in KZN had on countless occasions declared its support for former president Jacob Zuma, and also respected the right of individuals to peacefully protest, so long as it did not infringe on the rights of others, or break any laws.
“People should refrain from using the former president Jacob Zuma as a scapegoat for violence. We urge law enforcement agencies to act firmly and expeditiously, within the law, against any form of lawlessness, public violence, damage to property and disruption of economic activity,” he said.
It is alleged that the shutdown is to call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign, as well as to protest against the use of Covid-19 vaccines, conflicts within the ANC, lack of free education, and to highlight the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Last month hundreds of people looted shopping centres, businesses and warehouses across the province. At least 36 people have been arrested for murders related to the looting and unrest in Phoenix.