Protest turnout expected to be massive - leadership urged to be supportive
As the nation builds up for probably the biggest public protest in our new democracy, OUTA calls on the leadership within the ANC, to speak out and denounce the hate speech and utterances of violence emanating from various quarters within the ruling party’s support base.
On Friday 7 April, South Africa will witness the biggest show of people-power since the birth of our democracy some 23 years ago, as millions of citizens are expected to exercise their democratic right to protest against their State President’s conduct.
The messages of support that have been sent to numerous civil society organisations, from thousands of businesses and supporters of the public are incredibly overwhelming. The energy expressed by society at large to participate in Friday’s protests around the country is nothing short of incredible and extremely encouraging.
“Many businesses have indicated they will be giving their staff the day off, while others will sign leave forms for all who wish to participate in this important show of solidarity,” says Wayne Duvenage, the Chairperson of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA). “The public should not fear the intimidation, but instead they should know that the world is looking on and we need to impress on them and ourselves as a nation that we will not tolerate the trashing of our nation’s economy, as a result of the irrational conduct of President Jacob Zuma.”
“The Government’s propaganda machine is clearly hard at work, trying to instil fear into the public about their safety during this protest action, with fictitious SMS’s and other messages doing the rounds. This is a sign of desperation to discourage participation,” says Ben Theron, OUTA’s Portfolio Director. “To the minister of Police, we say you have no need to fear peaceful protest action. We live in a democratic society wherein our constitutional rights have enshrined our freedom to protest. The Police are employed to look after its citizens and not just the ones that support one party in the country.”
OUTA believes Friday 7 April will be the dawn of a new organised unified energy which will drive the change required to improve the prosperity of our nation.