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No police backing for Zuma sit-ins
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09:03, August 26, 2008

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Proposed action to force the South African National Prosecuting Authority to drop charges against the ruling party ANC's President Jacob Zuma will not get the backing of the police or its unions.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe said: "We are essential services. Anything that will disrupt our duties to the community cannot be allowed."

Radebe said she had not seen a news report that claimed that the ANC planned to embark on rolling mass action, which, according to the Mercury newspaper, included sit-ins, and pickets at courts and police stations across Kwa Zulu-Natal.

She said she was not aware of what permission had been granted for the staging of marches and said she would comment further once she had more details.

Normal operations at these institutions could be disrupted, the newspaper report said. The plan was hatched at a meeting of delegates from ANC branches in the eThekwini region on Thursday, held to discuss matters ahead of Zuma's next appearance in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on September 12.

On Sunday, ANC eThekwini chairman John Mchunu said rolling massaction would involve "courts, police stations and... all these areas".

According to the report, the mass action would include pickets,sit-ins and marches at all courts and police stations in KwaZulu-Natal. It would start on Friday and include the ANC's allies such as Cosatu, the SA Communist Party as well as "everyone in society".

Police & Prisons Civil Rights Union national spokesman Benzi Soko said he was not aware of the planned protest action.

"Police officers are by law not allowed to embark on industrial action. As stipulated in the constitution, we are an essential service. We respect the constitution."


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