Marching against President Jacob Zuma would be tantamount to treason‚ eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said on Thursday.
“For you to march‚ you need all the logistics‚ like the police and Metro Police. This has not been the case‚” she said.
Speaking to TMG Digital‚ Gumede said that a permit for a march had not been sought. SABC also reported that Gumede said marchers would be arrested.
SAPS spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said: “The SAPS has not been given any directive about arresting anyone. We will be there to monitor the situation and we appeal to anyone whose behaviour is undesirable to consider their actions carefully. We can’t prevent a march from taking place but if permission has been granted‚ it’s the right of the people.”
TMG Digital is in possession of a letter‚ on a letterhead from the office of the city manager‚ giving permission for the march‚ its route and its starting time
DA caucus leader in eThekwini‚ Zwakele Mncwango‚ whose party the April 5 letter was addressed to‚ said march organisers had met with police officials. Metro Police spokesman Sibonelo Mchunu confirmed the meeting and said that security plans were in place.
“As Metro Police‚ we’re making security plans with SAPS. I can’t divulge the security plans in advance … but with every march‚ protest or gathering has a security plan. There was a Section 4 meeting between the [march] organisers‚ SAPS and us. Security plans are confidential [and] intended to secure the people‚” said Mchunu.
Mncwango lashed out at Gumede.
“Mayor Gumede’s war talk shows that she does not understand democracy. She wants to turn the state on its citizens to protect Jacob Zuma‚ the broken president. The DA has permission to march on Friday‚ and we will be marching to make our voices heard that Jacob Zuma must go. We won’t be intimidated – not by Gumede or any cadre of the compromised ANC‚” he said
He added that police would “come in their numbers to protect us”.
“The mayor needs to be educated about her powers and its limitation‚” he said.