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Open letter to His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, by Herman Mashaba
Mar 15, 2023
Dear Mr President,
I am writing to you today on behalf of ActionSA and all law-abiding South African citizens, to urge you and your government to show leadership and prevent the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) from plunging South Africa into anarchy with their proposed national shutdown.
As you are aware, the EFF has threatened to shut down South Africa on the 20th of March 2023 and has explicitly threatened individuals, businesses and even school children with violence and looting. We unequivocally condemn this behaviour and call on you to take immediate action to prevent this intolerable disruption to South Africa’s already ailing economy.
I have been contacted by various business leaders, including representatives of major international corporations, that have told me that they are closing their businesses, at a massive cost, on Monday to protect their employees and premises against the EFF’s threats of violence.
Each of these leaders has told me that the President and government’s silence on the shutdown has been a driving factor behind their decision. Business leaders are deeply concerned about the government’s silence on this continued and clear threat to our democracy, and the silence is further damaging business confidence.
We cannot allow a radical minority to dictate the economic activity of our nation, especially when we are already facing significant barriers to improving our society for all. The EFF’s stated threat to national key points, including OR Tambo and ports of trade, is not only irresponsible but criminal.
We would like to remind you and your government of your obligation to uphold our Constitution and our laws and to protect our businesses and citizens against the criminal acts threatened by the EFF and its members, under Julius Malema’s leadership.
Allowing the EFF to continue with their criminality will send the message to South Africans and the world that violence and thuggery is a legitimate form of protest. We cannot allow this to happen.
Political demonstrations are a Constitutional right, but they must happen within the ambit of our laws. What the EFF is proposing and encouraging its members to do clearly falls outside of what is legally permissible.
On behalf of all peace-loving South Africans, we ask you to use your authority to order our law enforcement agencies to put an end to any attempts by the EFF to conduct these unlawful protests. We call on the SAPS and SANDF to be on standby to prevent looting and damage to property.
Preventing the EFF’s actions is not about suppressing political dissent. It is about stopping violence and anarchy. It is about showing those who seek to divide and destroy our nation that South Africans are above such behaviour and that we will not be dictated to by criminals.
We hope that you will heed our message and take action to prevent the EFF’s criminal behaviour. Now is the time for decisive leadership.
Herman Mashaba, ActionSA President
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