ANC warns Carl Niehaus over planning ’second phase of protest’ against Jacob Zuma’s jailing
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Johannesburg - The ANC has issued a stern warning against its own members who are allegedly planning to stage a second phase of protest against the government, urging law enforcement agencies to act.
The warning comes after former Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ (MKMVA) member Carl Niehaus and former ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa were among a group of disgruntled party members who are threatening a campaign for the immediate release of former president Jacob Zuma and the implementation of “radical economic transformation.”
The leaders of the #FreeJacobZuma campaign are also planning to lodge a genocide complaint against President Cyril Ramaphosa, his Cabinet members, Speaker of the Parliament Thandi Modise and NCOP head Amos Masondo.
They also included Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and various newly appointed top leadership of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Niehaus and Lungisa have claimed their planned protest actions were going to be peaceful but the ANC will have none of it.
Addressing the media, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said her party would not tolerate acts of vigilantism and has urged the police to act against those planning the second phase of protests.
Duarte also admitted her party had already served disciplinary action papers on some of their members accused of unbecoming conduct but declined to reveal their identities.
She equated the four page statement of Niehaus, Lungisa and others as a similar modus operandi of communication used ahead of the chaotic July violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Duarte made these hard-hitting statements while addressing the media about the outcomes of her party’s National Working Committee meeting on Monday.
She also admitted some of the people linked to the violent protests were members of her party who allegedly used social media such as Twitter and Facebook to incite acts of violence.
“The NWC condemned the recent attempted counter-revolutionary violence and looting, which can be characterised as insurrection. These actions, focused mainly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, resulted in more than 300 deaths, billions of rand of damage and destruction to infrastructure, social services, and business. It has disrupted the lives of citizens and their communities, their education, health, and economic activity – threatening thousands of jobs,” Duarte said.
She said these events were planned, instigated, and well-co-ordinated saying the targeting of strategic links in the transport and logistical value chain, such as the N3 highway and the Durban port, were not coincidental.
“They wanted to cause food shortages as they also burned down warehouses for food,” she said.
Duarte further said: “It was calculated to cause maximum disruption to the economy and flows of essential goods such as food, fuel, and medicine, amongst others. The events were preceded by a process of low-level mobilisation and preparation through meetings and social media, including the identification of targets that were indeed affected, as well as calls for the resignation of the NEC and the president.”
According to Duarte, the NWC condemned the racial attacks and blockades inspired by vigilantes in a number of areas, including Phoenix.
“The NWC stressed the need to reaffirm the non-racial character of the ANC and its commitment to building a cohesive society in a united, non-racial, non-sexist democratic and prosperous South African nation. The NWC commended the thousands of members of the police service and defence force whose deployment quelled the violence and brought peace and stability to affected communities,” Duarte said.
She said taxi owners and drivers as well as ordinary citizens who stopped the chaos, acted within the law and the constitution, often in the face of extreme provocation, to prevent loss of life and property, including during the arrest of Zuma.
“The NWC expressed concern regarding the speed and co-ordination of the response and urged the government to attend to the capacity, resourcing, effectiveness, and accountability of the security services.
“The NWC commended the demonstration of lawful people’s power by citizens and organised civil society who rejected these counter-revolutionary actions, in words and actions, and rose in defence of their communities and our constitutional democracy.”
She said the NWC was calling for unity and vigilance to counter the possibility of any further attempts at counter-revolutionary insurrection, in light of ongoing mobilisation, including on social media.
“This includes acting decisively to investigate, arrest and prosecute the planners of the attempted insurrection, as well as addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality in our society. The ANC will act decisively against any of its members who have or continue to participate in these activities,” Duarte said.