EFF march to Gauteng legislature ends in chaos
EFF leader Julius Malema and nearly 300 of his supporters had to be forcefully removed from the Gauteng legislature after they staged a sit-in.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members were today demanding that eight of their members be allowed into the building after they were banned for wearing red overalls on July 1.
The EFF supporters marched through Braamfontein to the provincial seat of government in the city centre at midday chanting “sizobadubula” (we are going to shoot them).
They ignored all the march routes that were agreed upon, pushing through police barricades that had been put in place.
At the entrance of the legislature, the red beret train did not stop as journalists and police had anticipated.
Although law enforcement eventually managed to stop what would have been a stampede at the door, Malema and a few dozen EFF members were already inside.
The firebrand leader was the first to push through the police’s attempt to stop the marchers from entering the building.
Looking for a route to where the actual sitting of the house was, Malema was in front when his men took the first flight of stairs to the thick-carpeted corridors, banging on doors along the way.
At the end of one hallway, the group came to a halt, which is where they would spend nearly seven hours.
“We are staying and we must reach an agreement today … this is not a crime scene … the legislature is public property,” Malema told EFF members, who had occupied the entire first floor.
“We are here and we are going to remain here until we get a guarantee that our members will be allowed back in … no policeman must touch us here.”
The fighters were also unapologetic for the mess they created after helping themselves to the MPLs lunch.
“We are not sorry, it’s job creation. My unemployed aunt must come clean here tomorrow and get paid for it, it is called real job creation,” said one member.
After hours of waiting for legislature speaker Ntombi Mekgwe, Malema lost control of his men, who had been getting agitated by the hour since early afternoon.
Meanwhile, the police had surrounded the place with more reinforcements.
As the singing got louder inside, a hosepipe and a fire extinguisher were thrown at the riot police who were preparing to storm in.
After a brief scuffle, Malema was escorted out almost unscathed while the rest of the supporters were not that lucky.
The police were waiting for them outside with batons, teargas and stun grenades.
The fighters vowed to keep on fighting until their members were allowed back in.