Heading to the Union Buildings? Do not bring alcohol, cooler boxes, weapons and fireworks

Security forces have warned community members heading to the Union Buildings for the inauguration of President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa to respect the law. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela/IOL

Security forces have warned community members heading to the Union Buildings for the inauguration of President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa to respect the law. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela/IOL

Published Jun 19, 2024


As thousands of South Africans, foreign dignitaries and local and international media brave the chilly morning converging at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for the inauguration of President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa, security forces have appealed to attendees to abide with the law.

Members of the public wishing to attend the presidential inauguration will be able to park their vehicles at the Tshwane Showgrounds, west of the city, and ride a free bus to the Union Buildings.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJoints) said it has rolled out a water-tight integrated plan focusing on venue security, route, transport, traffic control, sea, land, airport, border, accommodation security as well as crowd management capabilities.

The plan which incorporates various government departments led by the SA Police Service (SAPS), SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the State Security Agency is currently being implemented in all corners of the Gauteng province, according to spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

The Union Buildings in Pretoria is hosting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration. File Picture: Shayne Robinson/SAPA

“There will be no private vehicle access to the Union Buildings. The park and ride shuttles will commence from 3am to 6.30am on Wednesday morning. The public walking in will have access to the Union Buildings South Lawns through a security checkpoint,” said Mathe.

“All attendees are encouraged to conduct themselves responsibly and in an orderly manner.”

The following items are prohibited:

– Dangerous weapons such as firearms and sharp weapons.

– No traditional weapons including traditional spears and knobkerries will be allowed.

– No alcoholic beverages.

– No cooler boxes.

– No fireworks.

– No glass bottles.

– No drones.

Members of the public are cautioned that before entering the South Lawns of the Union Buildings, they will be searched. Anyone found with a prohibited item will be turned away.

“Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult and parents who wish to bring their young children along must ensure strict supervision,” said Mathe.

“The Department of Social Development has set up a tent to reunite children who have separated from their guardians during the event. The SAPS has also established a Venue Operations Centre (the VOC) where all safety and security responses will be coordinated from. Emergency medical services also form part of the VOC and are on standby to attend to any medical emergencies.”

The area around the Union Buildings has been declared a restricted no-fly zone for 20 nautical miles until Wednesday evening at 4pm.

Our air support and air space security task teams which includes the SAPS airwing, the South African Air Force and the South African National Defence Force are monitoring the airspace to ensure that no unauthorised drones and aircrafts enter the restricted air space.

Members of the SAPS, provincial police, metro police and the SANDF have been heavily deployed to maintain law and order during the presidential inauguration. File Picture: Timothy Bernard /Independent Media

“As the NATJoints, we stand ready to stamp the authority of the state and to deal with any lawlessness. No disruptions and unbecoming behaviour will be tolerated,” said Mathe.

“We continue to urge members of the public to refrain from sharing unverified information in any form of pictures, audio, or videos that incite violence and create disunity. Our intelligence communities continue to monitor various platforms for inflammatory messages and statements.

“Those who are found to be engaging themselves with online mobilisation for unrest and violence will be charged under the cyber crime act 19 of 2020,” she said.

Around 18 heads of State and former leaders of various countries are in South Africa for the mega festivities. Regional leaders and close allies of South Africa including Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and President Nangolo Mbumba of Namibia arrived in Pretoria on Tuesday.

President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa is among several heads of State who have arrived for the inauguration of President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Presidency

Ramaphosa’s first presidential inauguration, in May 2019, was held at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in the city, and was officiated by the then chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.