MKMVA to protect Luthuli House during anti-Zuma protests

Various civil society groups and political parties are planning marches against President Jacob Zuma following his Cabinet reshuffle.

FILE: The ANC's Luthuli House headquarters in central Johannesburg. Picture: WikiCommons

JOHANNESBURG - uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) says 600 soldiers will be deployed to Luthuli House on Friday to guard the premises during various planned marches following President Jacob Zuma’s changes to his Cabinet.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) initially planned to march to Luthuli House but was advised by other opposition parties to change their venue.

They are now marching from the Westgate transport hub to Mary Fitzgerald Square on Friday to put pressure on the ANC to recall Zuma.

But the MKMVA’s Kebby Maphatsoe has warned that soldiers will defend their headquarters at all cost.

“If you come to our revolutionary house, Luthuli House, we are not going to allow that anarchy. We will restrain our comrades to be at Luthuli House [sic]. No other attack will happen against any opposition party or citizen.”

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Meanwhile, organisers of a march on the Union Buildings have assured the public it is lawful.

Government has warned against demonstrations and a planned national shutdown, saying the economy is already too fragile.

Section 27’s Mark Heywood says the march organisers have dealt extensively with the authorities to ensure the event goes smoothly.

“This will be a peaceful march; nobody should feel afraid to join this march. We encourage all people to come join the march and we encourage all concerned South Africans to come and show their concern on this protests.”

Concerned citizens have also been urged to gather outside Parliament in Cape Town to make their voices heard.

The Tshwane Metro Police, though, say that those who are planning to march in the city centre on Friday have not been granted permission because they haven’t met the requirements.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) and Save South Africa have planned separate marches to the Union Buildings to protest against President Jacob Zuma's recent decisions on his Cabinet.

But officials say both groups have not yet submitted the required documentation for the events.

Tshwane Metro Police's Isaac Mahamba says they have given the protest organisers until Thursday afternoon to submit the required documents.

“There are pending documents they need to send to the security cluster.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)