Save SA successfully applied to the Chief Magistrate of Pretoria late on Thursday for permission to hold its march to the Union Buildings.
Supporters have been camped at Church Square in the city in preparation for a mass protest against President Jacob Zuma. There was a flurry of confusion on Thursday as to whether the march was legal or illegal.
Tshwane Mayor‚ Solly Msimanga‚ upon hearing the news‚ tweeted that “someone who’s ill-disciplined is busy playing politics using their admin position”.
Msimanga later welcomed the‚ “decision by the Chief Magistrate to overturn the erroneous decision to decline permission for the mass protest action taking place in the capital.
“The decision to decline the march was as a result of disgruntled law enforcement agents within the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) who have unduly elected to make decisions based on party political considerations‚” he said in a statement.
“Someone who is ill-disciplined is playing politics using their admin position to deliberately cause confusion. We have SAPS and a TMPD captured by Luthuli House‚” he said.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and South African Communist Party will join the march to the Union Buildings.
Acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane was initially under the impression that the march to the Union Buildings was illegal when he gave a briefing on Thursday evening. However‚ he said police would abide by a court ruling if permission was granted for the march.
Protest organisers in other cities had obtained permission to march and police would be present to ensure there was law and order‚ he said.
There have been threats of violence by some members of the African National Congress if protests take place outside the party’s headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
Some protesters who were assembled at Church Square in Pretoria were threatened and had their banners destroyed by a group of men on Wednesday evening.
The marches were planned in response to Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle which resulted in the removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. Jonas and two other ANC MPs have since resigned.
“It is a must that organisers … comply with the provisions of our laws‚” said Phahlane. “SAPS respects the rights of our citizens to protest. With every right‚ there is an accompanying responsibility‚” he added.
Ernest Mabuza and Tiso Black Star Group