The Durban High Court has granted the Democratic Alliance (DA) an urgent interdict preventing eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede, from instructing law enforcement agencies to arrest protesters at Friday’s protest in the city.
DA KwaZulu-Natal leader, Zwakele Mncwango, said this was a victory for the constitutionally enshrined right to protest peacefully, and for the democratic principles that underpin Constitutional democracy.
“We again encourage all concerned South Africans to join our peaceful marches around South Africa,” Mncwango said in statement.
“It is time for us to stand together, regardless of political affiliation in this time of crisis, and send a loud and clear message that [President] Jacob Zuma must go, and go now.”
The DA had earlier on Thursday applied to the High Court seeking an urgent interdict against Gumede following her alleged comments that people who march against Zuma would be arrested because that would be an act of treason.
A national shutdown is planned to take place on Friday in all major cities, including Durban, as various opposition parties and civil right organisations mobilise support against Zuma’s recent Cabinet reshuffle.
Pravin Gordhan was fired as Finance Minister and Mcebisi Jonas as his deputy, together with several other ministers were also replaced.
Gumede allegedly said the City’s metro law enforcement agencies, including the police, would be out in full force to arrest anyone who marches against Zuma.
Gumede later retracted this statement saying that people were free to exercise their constitutional rights to protest, but cautioned those taking part in the marches against injuring others and vandalising infrastructure.
Her spokesperson, Mthunzi Gumede reportedly said the Mayor’s comments were taken out of context.
In a statement, eThekwini Municipality said the city had granted permission for the “People’s march” that would commence at the Circus site near Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World as well as the march by the African National Congress Youth League to defend Zuma.
“We are aware of and have granted permission for two marches to take place in the city tomorrow. There will also be an ANC Youth League march which will take place in the city centre. Permission has also been grated for this march,” eThekwini said.
– African News Agency