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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Ramaphosa warns EFF ‘anarchy and disorder won’t be tolerated’

Speaking alongside Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Ramaphosa said the only way to get him out of office is through a vote.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other protestors that anarchy will not be tolerated during their shutdown march and that law enforcement officials will defend the people of South Africa.

The red berets are expected to lead a nationwide protest on Monday, 20 March, with the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

Watch: President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking on the EFF’s nationwide shutdown

EFF shutdown

While the EFF have been motivated by various reasons to embark on the nationwide strike, the main reasons given for the protest include demanding the resignation of Ramaphosa, the ongoing, crippling power cuts, the rising cost of living and unemployment.

In a video posted on the party’s social media accounts, EFF leader Julius Malema said “enough is enough, we cannot have a president that presides over a collapsed state.”

Regime change

Speaking at the Union Buildings in Pretoria alongside Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan  on Thursday, Ramaphosa said the only way to get him out of office and power is through a vote.

A somewhat embarrassed Ramaphosa said while he had deep admiration for what Tanzania has achieved, the same could not be said of South African politics.

“Our politics is fructuous, we are divided and this is also an issue of going to the elections next year, many parties, when you go to an election, start positioning themselves because they want to win the vote and they will often position themselves in a way which is completely against the governing party.

“South Africa is governed by the rule of law. Regime change can only come about through the vote. It cannot come about through anarchy, unleashing disorder the country,” Ramaphosa said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: EFF national shutdown a ‘clear threat’ – DA

Right to protest

Ramaphosa said the right to protest was “deeply enshrined” in South Africa’s constitution.

“Coercing others to act in a way that you want is not part of our democratic architecture. And I wanted to say very clearly, disorder and anarchy will not be allowed in South Africa. We will not allow those who want to spread anarchy to do what they like here in South Africa. We are a constitutional democracy.”

Stern warning  

Ramaphosa issued a stern warning to the EFF and other protestors about disorderly behaviour during the shutdown on 20 March 2023.

“The security forces of our country are going to defend our people. They are going to make sure that intimidation, anarchy and disorder does not prevail. But those who want to protest, by all means protest peacefully.

“But if you are going to restrict the rights of other people, coerce them, intimidate them and unleash violence, our security forces are going to defend the people of South Africa, that I must make clear because we will not allow disorder and anarchy to prevail in this country and against the people of South Africa. That will not be allowed,” Ramaphosa warned.


Meanwhile, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said it does not have any reason to believe that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will disrupt taxis during the party’s national shutdown on 20 March, after getting assurance from the red berets leader Julius Malema.

Santaco national spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa on Thursday said the association will not be taking part in the national protest on Monday and will treat it as a normal operational working day.

ALSO READ: National shutdown: Malema ‘assures’ Santaco taxis won’t be affected