we will defend early morning market

THE IFP has threatened to blockade the Early Morning Market tomorrow to prevent eThekwini Municipality from shutting it down before its demolition.

The IFP's eThekwini district deputy secretary Joshua Mazibuko said those who would be demolishing the market would have to go past them first.

"First we want to register our protests against the harassment of traders and workers at the market by the metro police," said Mazibuko.

"Above that, we are expressing our indignation since many families who make a living out of the Early Morning Market are threatened with joblessness and hunger because of the decision to close down this market on July 31 (tomorrow)."

He said that if the city went ahead with its decision, "they must brace themselves for a very strong opposition from our party".

"We will be there in full force, and we will blockade the market to prevent this forced removal by the municipality," said Mazibuko.

He said they wanted mayor Obed Mlaba to stop all acts of harassment against traders and workers at the market and to abandon the idea of shutting it down.

"We call for a moratorium on such a step because there are negotiations going on which are being overseen by a task team that was appointed by Premier Zweli Mkhize.

"Let those negotiations run their course before any decision could be taken on the market. Why should the municipality close down the market to build a mall while negotiations are still going on?

"If they (ANC) are doing so because they rely on their numerical strength in the council to go against popular decisions, let it be known that our strength lies in the multitudes of ordinary citizens of eThekwini.

"If they persist, they must know that we are ready for them, come Friday. Those who will be coming to close down the market will have to walk over us," warned Mazibuko.