Fri 17 March 2023:
Ahead of the planned National Shutdown scheduled for Monday, Police Minister Bheki Cele has issued a stern warning for lawbreakers.
With the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) expected to embark on the shutdown, Cele said those who break the law will be arrested.
“You must uphold the law but more importantly enforce it with minimum force. All police vans must be on standby and make sure that anyone who breaks the law is behind bars. Make sure that anyone that breaks the law, the law takes its course,” Cele told a multidisciplinary parade on Friday.
Cele made these comments during a state of readiness visit led by the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola, to Gauteng operations.
[WATCH] “Most of the people you see here are patrollers but also taxi associations…they are not law enforcement but they have a right to defend themselves.” -Police Minister Bheki Cele while assessing Gauteng’s readiness for the EFF’s #NationalShutdown on Monday. #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/HHYpWx6qou
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 17, 2023
The Minister and Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, formed part of the visit to operations, which commenced with an address to a multidisciplinary parade.
Cele told the multidisciplinary parade that the task is to protect, prevent and combat.
“We want to emphasise that you keep all inhabitants safe. Those that will be marching have a right to march, but there are restrictions and measures to be followed, they do not have any right to harm anybody, block any South African that wants to go to work or be on the road.
“Nobody should block the roads. Nobody should force anybody to close his shop or business on Monday. You shall be there and stop anybody that is trying to force people to do anything against their will,” the Minister said.
The SAPS will be out in full force on the ground and in the air to enforce the law and ensure that the protest is peaceful.
“All the police have been recalled, they are here and we are working with other law enforcements. We are working with the taxi associations, NGOs and everybody.
“Those that will be here on the 20th [March] will find us on the road. We will saturate the roads and key points,” he said.
National Commissioner Masemola also addressed the multidisciplinary parade ahead of the planned protest. He instructed security forces on parade to exercise their duties in terms of the constitutional mandate adding that officers must uphold and enforce the law within the relevant prescripts to ensure stability and protect inhabitants of South Africa.
“You are going out there, South Africans have nobody except you as law enforcement of this country. Do what the constitution calls you to do. Exercise maximum constraint but when people go out of line bring them back.
“Go out there and protect the inhabitants of this country and their property. Protect those that will be marching and those that will not be participation without hesitation, fear or favour. Be firm and do your work with dedication without fear,” Masemola said.
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