March 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The South African Police have already arrested 87 people during the first hours of the general strike called for this Monday by the opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), while the Government has deployed some 3,400 soldiers to reinforce security in streets.
The Police Minister, Bheki Cele, has reported that the arrests began on Sunday afternoon, when many of the protesters tried to block the main access roads of some of the cities where the protests have already begun.
“We hope that those who are going to march do so in peace; we will have no reason to interfere,” said Cele, who has reported the collection of some 24,300 tires with which they intended to block bridges and other “strategic areas,” reports the newspaper ‘The Star’.
Cele has revealed that the Police are working with private security companies to stop the protests. Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered some 3,400 troops to be deployed to protect key infrastructure until at least April 17.
For his part, President Ramaphosa addressed the country this Monday to recall that although the South African Constitution guarantees the right of all citizens to demonstrate peacefully, this does not mean “harassing, intimidating or threatening anyone”, nor ” damage property or cause harm to any person”.
“A person’s right to protest must not in any way infringe the right to life and dignity of another person. It must not impede their freedom of movement and association, nor their right to exercise their trade,” he stressed.