Travel Alert – South Africa…

Drum Cussac has issued this latest warning for U.S. Citizens traveling in to the country of South Africa.  This information is available to GeoBlue plan members from the GeoBlue website daily…

UPDATE 1: Opposition to March on ANC Headquarters in Johannesburg on 12 February, Heightened Risk of Unrest

Category: Unrest

Severity: 3 (Moderate)

Source: Drum Cussac

02/12/2014 (South Africa) – The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) is scheduled to stage a protest march from the Westgate Transport Hub on Beyers Naude Square, located near the African National Congress’ (ANC) Luthuli House headquarters in downtown Johannesburg on Wednesday morning, 12 February. More than 6,000 participants are expected. Protesters are expected to march along Marshall Street and Harrison Street before converging on Beyers Naude Square. The ANC has warned that its activists will also gather outside the headquarters, increasing the likelihood of clashes between the rival supporters.

The risk rating for South Africa is currently MODERATE. Earlier this week, the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court overturned the metro police department’s prohibition of the march initiated by the ANC on the grounds that the DA’s rally would be marred by violence. The ANC has repeatedly warned that the DA’s protest march would result in unrest, alleging that DA activists were likely to be armed with batons and stones. these allegations have been rejected by DA leaders who have vowed that the gathering will be peaceful.

It should also be recalled that a May 2012 march by DA supporters to the offices of the ANC-linked Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in May 2012 turned violent, with rival members clashing and police using tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrators. There is the potential for a repeat of such confrontations should the march go ahead, as well as disruptions to traffic and commercial activity in the vicinity.

Those operating in or planning to travel to Johannesburg on 12 February should monitor the local media for situational updates and anticipate heightened security and possible traffic diversions. Clients are strongly advised to stay clear of all demonstrations as far as possible due to the risk of exposure to indiscriminate outbreaks of unrest as well as opportunistic crime in large crowds.

Copyright © 2014 Drum Cussac

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