eThekwini Metro has given supporters of former President Jacob Zuma permission to hold protests and motorcades in Durban on Thursday and Friday, despite billions of rands worth of property and goods looted and destroyed and over 200 people killed during similar protests last week.
According to News24, eThekwini municipality spokesperson Mandla Nsele said that marches (heavily associated with the #FreeZuma protests that incited looting and violence) have been sanctioned by the city.
“Mother of all Motorcades” is written on one ANC (who have distanced themselves from this protest) poster scheduled for today and another poster entitled, “Black Friday” to protest the “Phoenix massacre”.
Phoenix, Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), was one of the few places in KZN and Gauteng that witnessed serious human security abuses during the #FreeZuma protests that turned into general rioting and looting. Many cars were set alight and an armed group, hiding amongst the chaos of looting and protest, used intimation tactics (firing shots in the air) to scare residents. There were reports that fully automatic rifles were heard. There have been many reports that the residents set part of the informal settlement alight in response to the protests. An estimated 20 people have died as a result of the informal settlement fire and local residents’ armed retaliation.
It is extremely well documented that there are multiple armed groups (who have pistols and fully automatic rifles) that hid amongst the #FreeZuma protests. President Cyril Ramaphosa has called the resulting violence an insurrection. The protests and their leaders have a direct link to the mass looting that resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs, peoples’ livelihoods and billions of rands in damaged property and infrastructure.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said the motorcades and marches are not sanctioned by the provincial structure. “We are not aware of this. There are individuals organising this. We do not know why they are coming to the provincial office,” the ANC’s provincial spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, said on Wednesday.
‘Black Friday’ protesters have advertised that they will meet at the Durban City Hall on Friday.
Security has been increased in Durban ahead of possible unrest, and metro police and members of the SA Police Service (SAPS) are monitoring the situation with the army close by.