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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

National shutdown: Limpopo cops slam fake EFF statement to ‘incite violence’

Police had taken note of the fake statement during the national shutdown purportedly attributed to the provincial deputy secretary of the EFF.

Limpopo police have denied reports that it agreed to allow Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members to march back to the City of Polokwane to occupy the CBD during the national shutdown.

Police said it had taken note of the fake statement which was purportedly attributed to the provincial deputy secretary of the EFF Mpusheng Leshabane.

Spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the statement was published on an on-line publication on Monday, 20 March 2023, on the day of the national shutdown.

Fake reports condemned

Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has condemned the “irresponsible statement that is tantamount to incitement of violence” in Polokwane.

“This statement is utterly unfounded and far from the truth. In case the march does take place and crimes get committed in the process, the organisers and leaders will be held accountable and arrested. The statement goes on to mention that they intend to blockade the N1 road like they did last year.

“N1 road was never blocked in the past and the police will not allow this to happen now or in the future. We will not tolerate any lawlessness where the rights of others are trembled upon,” said Hadebe.

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Plans to keep people safe

Hadebe said there plans in place to keep people safe.

“We want to reassure our law-abiding communities that the deployments that we made so far will continue to ensure the safety of everyone.

“Since the protests began, our province has been relatively calm with isolated and sporadic incidents of protesters attempting to block the roads, but our members were at hand to deal with those situations. In incidents where crimes were committed, arrests were made,” added Hadebe.

Shutdown arrests

Earlier, law enforcement officers had arrested 87 protesters around the country by 9am, for public violence-related offences, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) said on Monday morning.

Of the 87 arrested, 41 were in Gauteng, 29 in North West and 15 in the Free State, NatJoints confirmed.

Other arrests had been made in Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

ALSO READ: National shutdown: eThekwini Municipality assures residents of their safety