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Government, police caution against violence during Saftu strike

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Government said it noted the call for a national strike and marches across the country by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), but cautioned protesters to conduct themselves in a responsible manner.

Saftu, and its more than 20 affiliated unions, are set to stage protest marches all around the country on Wednesday in protest at the basic minimum wage of R20 an hour. In Cape Town, the march will get underway from Keizergracht at 11.30am and proceed to Parliament.

Government said marches had played a central role during the apartheid era and culminated into the transition from apartheid to democracy.

“The right to assemble and to protest in order to advance a particular cause is enshrined in the South African Constitution.

“However, it also equally caters for protestors to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Peaceful protests are quintessentially a characteristic of a strengthened democratic and progressive society.”

The SA Police Service has warned that no criminal behaviour will be tolerated during the marches around the country.

”The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) appeals to those who will be participating in the strike, to respect the rights of those who choose not be participate in such actions and to refrain from intimidation or any other form of criminal behaviour,” said police spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

”Those who will participate must do so within the confines of the law and in a responsible manner. Those disguising themselves as protesters but are joining only to cause mayhem and commit crime, will face arrest and prosecution.”

Police, traffic officers and metro police departments will keep an eye on the marches across the provinces, said Naidoo.

[Source: African News Agency]
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