No further protest action is planned by the Fuel Prices Must Fall group, who blockaded the N3 in Pietermaritzburg and other major roads in KZN on Wednesday morning, Public Eye Maritzburg reports.
Bringing traffic to a standstill and effectively shutting down the N3 from New England Road through to Hilton, the Fuel Prices Must Fall civil action group said they were demanding the decrease in the fuel price from R16.02 to R10. This resulted in the city’s CBD being gridlocked yesterday morning.
Eight truck drivers and one woman were arrested yesterday by Flying Squad and Public Order Police (POP) for allegedly inciting violence at the Fuel Prices Must Fall blockade.
Fuel Prices Must Fall group founder Paul Jenkins said his national Fuel Prices Must Fall campaign was peaceful. “I know that a high ranking police officer was caught in the blockade and heard him call the Flying Squad and POP. Our protesters were wrongfully accused and arrested. At no point did any protester engage in any violent behaviour.”
Jenkins handed over a memorandum to the premier’s office three weeks ago. “The premier accepted the memorandum and also handed it over to President Ramaphosa. They knew the protest action was coming if the issue was not addressed. We also alerted the relevant authorities of our intention to hold a peaceful protest. We will not rest until the fuel prices drop drastically or else we will engage in mass protest action, by blocking all major highways throughout South Africa and bringing traffic to a standstill until our demands are met,” said Jenkins.
The movement, operating under the hashtage #fuelpricesmustfall, is based in every city, picking up thousands of social media followers, and it is still growing.
Jenkins, in a message sent out yesterday asked protesters to dress warmly. “We have committed to a peaceful non-violent protest. Our aim is for our voices to be heard and for people to join our movement and not move away from it.
“We are totally against any form of violence, looting, tyre burning and any of the sort. We intend on holding our protests from 4.30am until 1.30pm. We thank every single person who supports and encourages this movement. We have letters to give to the public who are caught up in this for awareness and support,” said Jenkins in a WhatsApp message.