National Shutdown stumbles in Gqeberha

By Anita Dangazele

Although the EFF began its shutdown on a high note in bigger cities, there were little to no disruptions throughout Nelson Mandela Bay. 

It was largely business as usual in most parts of the city.

Hundreds of EFF members congregated at the Boardwalk Mall in Summerstrand, Nelson Mandela Bay’s main tourist attraction, chanting and singing struggle songs, while a heavy police presence blockaded all entrances to the mall. 

The police sought to prevent any protestors from entering the mall, only allowing shoppers in.

However, inside the mall it was business as usual with patrons going about their business without any interruptions.

Meanwhile, EFF Regional leader Khanya Ngqisha said the March had produced the desired effect, bringing the country to a total standstill.

“Well, the protest is going very well because many of the businesses have closed. It’s not a normal business day, it’s very quiet, and many of the people are at home. 

Even this mall [Boardwalk] is not going to make the same profits as it usually makes because of this action that we’re taking as the EFF. So far so good, the protest is very successful,” said Ngqisha.

Speaking to members of the media, Provincial Commissioner General Lieutenant Nomthetheleli Mene said there were sporadic movements across the province but they remained peaceful.

“There are movements of some protests but most of them are peaceful. We have deployed police out there in different areas. What I can say and share is that we have not yet received any serious incidents that are related to the protest,” said Mene.

Mene said the police had confiscated about 16,000 tyres throughout the province which were intended for the protest, 6,000 of those were from the Nelson Mandela Bay Area.

Nelson Mandela Bay was named as the number one hotspot for protest action in the province, followed by Buffalo City Metro and the O.R Tambo district, particularly Mthatha.

The SAPS in the Eastern Cape said it was ready and waiting should any unlawful actions erupt, while the EFF said it was determined to maintain a peaceful protest. 

Pictured Above: Members of the EFF chanting in front of the Boardwalk Mall in Summerstrand, Gqeberha.

Image source: Anita Dangazele


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