Hate speech and violence condemned ahead of march

OUTA says public should not fear intimidation but know the world is looking and they should be impressed

Hate speech and violence condemned ahead of march

6 April 2017

Johannesburg - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has called on the leadership within the ANC to condemn the hate speech and threats of violence coming from the ruling party's supporters.

This comes just ahead of planned protests due to take place across the country on Friday against the president's recent Cabinet reshuffle and its implications.

Zuma fired former minister of finance Pravin Gordhan as well as his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas – who has since resigned from Parliament. The economic consequences have seen South Africa downgraded to junk status, as well as a fluctuating rand.

Chairperson of Outa, Wayne Duvenage said: "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 instill fear into the public about their safety during this protest action, with fictitious SMSs and other messages doing the rounds. This is a sign of desperation to discourage participation," said Ben Theron, Outa's portfolio director.

The ANC has expressed its concern over reports of violence and intimidation.

"We condemn in the harshest possible terms reports of people seeking to take up arms in the name of the ANC. Such behavior has no place in a democratic society," said the party in media statement.

"As the planned day of protests approaches, the ANC calls on all South Africans to organise in a calm and measured fashion. We should not allow inflammatory rhetoric from certain elements, including on social media, to damage our fragile social fabric and turn South Africans against each other," said the ruling party.

The party said citizens should report incidents of intimidation, coercion or illegality to authorities.