#AntiZumaMarches: Pro-Zuma protest Violence Undermined the Right to Protest.

By: Carlos Ncube

In Johannesburg, The #AntiZumaMarch lead the by the DA was met by an ANC counter protest that took place at Luthuli House and extended to Beyers Naude Square. Both protests were peaceful and Jovial but violence was brewing in some of the ANC protesters.

The DA march ended in peace as it had started, but back at Luthuli House, a group of protesters holding branches wanted to go to Newtown to confront the DA marchers. The group was prevented from marching to Newtwon by a barricade of MK veterans.

The ANC had committed itself to being peaceful. This was evident through the MK’s attempt to prevent thee protesters from any form of confrontation. but it was not enough. When DA supporters were seen walking up Albertina Sisulu Road, ANC supporters quickly chased them, one man was caught and beaten, but he was whisked away to safety in a police van.

What to consider

Although the Pro-Zuma protesters were not acting within the interests of the ANC, in the public consciousness they are representatives of the ruling party. they carry the image of the ANC. they therefore add o the discontent of the Anti-Zuma protesters.

In the constitution – Chapter 2, section 17 it states “everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions”.  When this right is disregarded by citizens against other citizens, it undermines democracy and shows that there is a level of disregard and intolerance of different ideas, that intolerance translates into physical harm.

Violence during a protest undermines the constitution. Whether it is citizens against each other, or police against the citizens and vice versa. Everybody deserves a fair chance to voice out their discontent without facing the threat of violence. The country legally, belong to all citizens who live in it. despite the disparities born from apartheid and periods previous.

 

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