EFF to lead shutdown of Tshwane

EFF CIC, Julius Malema adressinf media at the headquarters in Braamfontein. Photo:Olwethu Boso

EFF CIC, Julius Malema addresses the media at the EFF headquarters in Braamfontein.     Photo: Olwethu Boso

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) commander in chief, Julius Malema has called upon South Africans to join the EFF in shutting down Tshwane.

Malema was speaking at a press briefing at the EFF headquarters in Braamfontein earlier today. He called on South Africans of all creeds and colours to unite in massive protest action in Tshwane on November 2, to defend South Africa’s democracy against state capture and strengthen the call for free education.

Malema said the EFF intends to shut down businesses in Tshwane for the day as the party works towards securing a list of demands.

The first demand that the party intends to make is that the South African government must provide free quality education at higher education level from 2017 onwards.

“Jacob Zuma must immediately step down as President and Head of State in South Africa as well as Shaun Abrahams‚ the NDPP of Zuma‚ must immediately step down from the National Prosecutions Authority,” said Malema.

Finally, the party will demand that the Guptas be disconnected from all state related contracts and must immediately leave South Africa.

Commenting on the current Fees Must Fall protests, Malema said he guarantees that the EFF would continue providing logistical, political, moral and legal support to student activists around the country.

“The only reaction the ANC is willing to give towards the conversation of free education is violent suppression,” he said about President Zuma setting up a task team which consists mainly of the security cluster.

During the briefing Malema announced that he was aware of the police outside the offices to serve him summons for things he had said in Mangaung in 2014.

“They are charging me with the attempt to hide their own inequities.”


Eight Wits students arrested during protest released on warning

The eight students that were arrested during protests on Monday  at Wits University were released today on warnings at Hillbrow Magistrates Court and will be required to reappear in court next month.

The charges brought against them include public violence, contravention of a court order, malicious damage to property, assault and possession of a dangerous weapon.

Fellow students and families sat behind the dock awaiting for student protesters Zimbali Ncube, Marola Mathabatha, Siyabonga Bongani Mathebula, Edwin Mokhali, Jonathan Paoli, Sabelo Melane and Thabiso Nhlapo to be called upon.

The courtroom responded in shock and tears were shed by loved ones as the  young men were handcuffed on entrance.

Court proceedings started out with the state opposing bail for the eight young men as some of their residential addresses were not verified.

But the students’ lawyers, Advocates Sizo Dlali and Andries Nkome argued successfully that since some addresses could not be immediately verified then their proof of registration would suffice as evidence that they were not flight risks.

Accused number two, Zimbali Ncube, would have spent another night in custody as the verification of his address was not as successful as the others. Magistrate Herman Visser was adamant that he did not want any student to stay in custody unnecessarily.

The state then proposed that each student be released on R1000 bail but this was argued against by Nkome.

“I don’t want to start sounding like a broken record your Honour but these students cannot afford bail,” argued Nkome. The students are still dependant on guardians and parents he said.

The magistrate then released them on a warning. As the eight walked out cheers could be heard outside and fellow students welcomed them in song.

However, The Wits 8 are to return to court on November 2 as the police are said to still be investigating their cases.


Bomb scares and flooding at Wits

Following two days of violent clashes between police and student protesters, Wits university spokesperson, Shirona Patel has confirmed that a total of six petrol bombs have been found on campus since last night.

Three petrol bombs were found on West campus on Wednesday morning. “The bombs were found in a backpack by Raikes Gate,” she said.

Last night two petrol bombs were found outside John Moffatt building and another was in the basement of the architecture building. It was set alight but authorities managed to contain and extinguish the fire.

Campus control called in the SAPS at about 5:30am on Wednesday after they had found the backpack containing the 3 three petrol bombs in a dustbin said SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Sally de Beer.

“The discovery of petrol bombs on campus is an indicator of people wanting to incite violence,” said de Beer.

De Beer could not confirm what case had been opened but said that it could possibly be of public violence. The police investigation continues.

The university also confirmed that on Tuesday there was a false alarm resulting in students being evacuated after reports surfaced that a bomb had been found on campus – it later turned out to be a fire cracker.

Taps in the Central Block bathrooms were left open overnight which led to flooding in the area.