DA welcomes High Court interdict of EFF national shutdown violence

Issued by John Steenhuisen – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
18 Mar 2023 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the judgment by the Gauteng High Court this morning which has interdicted the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) from violating the rights of South Africans to work, go to school, and trade, by any means of intimidation, violence, or coercion, on the party’s planned national shutdown on Monday 20 March 2023. This interdict will strengthen the arm of South Africa’s law enforcement bodies and security services to uphold the law on the national shutdown.

Most notably, we welcome the judgment which states that EFF members, employees and officials are interdicted and prohibited from:

  1. shutting down schools, retail stores, businesses, trade and public roads;
  2. calling for, promoting instigating or organising the blocking of roads or railway lines, and/or the shutting down of schools, retail stores, businesses, and trades;
  3. organizing or participating in, or inciting others to organise or participate in, any unlawful conduct and/or unlawful protect action; and
  4. inciting violence.

This judgment is a victory for law and order in South Africa, and a win for all peace-loving citizens who want to work, learn, and provide for their families without fear of violence, looting, and intimidation by a group of vigilantes posing as a political party. The DA has repeatedly stated that the EFF has every right to protest, but the party has no right to hold South Africa hostage in doing so.

While the interdict obtained by the City of Cape Town will protect the city and the Western Cape at large, the DA’s interdict will protect South Africans living in all other 8 provinces from any violence, intimidation, and coercion. On the day of the national shutdown, it will be business as usual for all South Africans and we call on law enforcement to ensure that the EFF national shutdown does not hinder or prevent any citizen from working, learning, or moving freely as is their constitutional right.

In light of this judgment, the DA calls on President Ramaphosa to mobilise and prepare all law enforcement bodies, including the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Defence Force, to be prepared to neutralise any threats to national security by the EFF on Monday 20 March 2023.

As Head of State it is President Ramaphosa’s duty, as prescribed by the Constitution of the Republic, to ensure the security of the nation. We have seen in recent years how woefully underprepared his government has been to protect South African citizens from violence and vigilantism, most notably during the 2021 July riots, where hundreds of citizens lost their lives tragically at the hands of government negligence.

The DA also reminds South Africans to use our affidavit template, which we have distributed widely across all channels earlier this week, to report any violence, intimidation, or looting by EFF members to the SAPS. The SAPS under the ANC national government now have no excuse should they fail to ensure the enactment of today’s court judgment which sets a clear precedent for the right to all South Africans to live in a safe environment without fear of violence or intimidation.

The DA remains firmly committed to the principle of the rule of law to ensure that the rights of all South Africans are upheld and protected. Today’s judgment is a victory for law and order, and a victory for all South Africans who aspire to live in a country where violence, terrorism, and vigilantism are left, once and for all, in the halls of history.