EFF leader Julius Malema threatens to shutdown South Africa

EFF leader Julius Malema has threatened to unleash the “mother of all protests” which he said would bring South Africa to a standstill on March 20, as the opposition pressurizes the government to end load shedding.

Speaking to journalists in Joburg after the EFF’s plenum, Malema said his party will not seek permission to hold the mass protest, and warned businesses to close shop on the day.

“National shutdown (on) 20 March – we don’t apply for nothing. We can’t apply for that which is given to us by the Constitution. It is our constitutional right to protest and we shall protest on the 20th of March. Like Sharpeville, we are not afraid of the State power, let the State come with its power, we will come with mass power,” said Malema.

“Everything is going to come to a standstill. We don’t want to see a single truck moving. We don’t want to see a single train moving. We don’t want to see a single bus moving, unless it is taking people to the picket lines.

“We don’t want to see the trucks and the trains, more particularly in Richards Bay. Those ones are taking our minerals out of our country through Richards Bay. On the 20th, if you know what is good for you, park your trucks in your depots. Let the trains stop … Ramaphosa must step down with immediate effect.”

A week ago, civil rights group #NotInMyName marched to the Union Building in Pretoria, demanding an end to the indefinite load shedding and the approved electricity price hike.

Speaking to IOL during the march, #NotInMyName president, Siyabulela Jentile said President Cyril Ramaphosa has been found wanting during this ongoing crisis.

“The presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa has been characterised by apologies and shock. So, we are not surprised or convinced by his latest actions. He has apologised, and cancelled his trip but there is no practical intervention that we have seen from his side,” said Jentile.

“We are really not moved by his apologies or cancelling of flights. He did not travel to Davos, but then what is he doing for the people of South Africa? Load shedding continues even to this day.”

On their way to the Union Buildings, the activists are passing by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) offices.

“At Nersa we are dropping a memorandum before we head to the Union Buildings. At Nersa we are challenging that 18 percent hike. We have several demands, they must scrap off that hike before there is any reasonable grounds to authorise the increase in prices,” said Jentile.


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