Durban businessman and ANC backer Visvin Reddy has once again courted controversy by posting a joke on his timeline about how he would be “selling sjamboks” on anti-Zuma protests day tomorrow.
He subsequently deleted it.
Reddy had earlier posted on Facebook that he was prepared to meet protesters “on the streets”.
ANC members, particularly youth league members, have been warning those planning to protest against President Jacob Zuma, that they would attack them using sjamboks.
There will also be protests in Durban.
ANC Youth Lembers said this week they would defend Luthuli House “with sjamboks and all weapons at our disposal”, while some Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) veterans warned they were also prepared to take violent action if necessary.
The MK Military Veterans’ Association in KwaZulu-Natal said on Wednesday they were prepared to defend the president with their “lives and limbs”, should the planned march take place.
Chairperson Themba Mavundla said at a press conference on Wednesday that the MKMVA would send a contingent of 600 “combat-ready” soldiers to Luthuli House in defence of the ruling party and Zuma.
Visvin Reddy is a well-known backer of the ruling party and a fervent supporter of Zuma. He courted controversy in 2014 when he said that Indians who complained about the ANC government should go back to India.
He was the ANC’s Chatsworth Branch chair at the time and was suspended.
While many of his Facebook friends and followers appeared to find his sjambok comment amusing, others were less impressed.
Lee Rondganger told him: “The freedom to assemble and protest is protected by our Constitution. The last people to use sjamboks on protestors were the Apartheid police (go look at the archives). But hey if that is what you are propagating, God help us all.”
Ravi Naicker wrote: “I am an ANC supporter but you guys are a bunch of hooligans. Our great leader Madiba will rebuke u guys. It’s sad that your pastor will not rebuke u. U can’t promote violence. I’m unfriending u as I can’t give u airtime on my platform.”
Several of his friends told him they wanted a sjambok from him.
Reddy had earlier on Thursday showed his happiness at a weather forecast predicting heavy rains in various places throughout the country.
According to Facebook, Atul Gupta also clicked ‘Like’ on the post.
Scattered thunderstorms have been predicted for Tshwane, the epicentre of various nationwide protests against President Jacob Zuma. Save SA will be leading a march to the Union Buildings and has called on all South Africans to join in.
Reddy had on Wednesday also criticised certain ANC veterans who have been calling for Zuma to resign.
He wrote: There is no branch or structure in the ANC for stalwarts and old activists. Yes. We appreciate their contribution for bringing about democracy but that is where it ends. Some of these former members have been gatekeepers, preventing the growth of the movement. They think they own the ANC because of their struggle credentials.
“They are not actively involved in their branches nor do you see them at ANC gatherings. They’ve become elitists and think we owe it to them to work hard so they can keep their top deployed jobs. Here in KZN the cabal is very active. They have been responsible for the declining votes we get as ANC.
“Here I’m referring specifically to the Indian community. The so-called activists will gather as elites and give theoretical solutions to practical problems. It’s time the cabal is exposed. I will be doing that. Naming them one by one.”