National 5.9.2016 10:40 am

Malema encourages Occupy Luthuli House marchers

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader; Julius Malema. File photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Cornel van Heerden

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader; Julius Malema. File photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Cornel van Heerden

The EFF leader says one does not need numbers to air one’s grievances, only commitment.

Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema appears to have shown his support to the organisers of the Occupy Luthuli House on Monday.

He told them that you don’t need numbers to ensure your cause is heard, only commitment. This after reports emerged early on Monday that there was a poor showing for the march, which its organisers had anticipated would attract more protesters. They were originally aiming to occupy the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, but changed that to marching to the door of the building to hand over their memorandum.

The EFF leader, himself formerly an ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president, told them they should not allow any intimidation to stop them from marching to the party’s headquarters. The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans, and members of the ANCYL vowed to “defend” the historic building and, on Monday morning, there was a heavy police presence surrounding Luthuli House.

“You only need commitment and not numbers to demonstrate your commitment to a cause. Never allow fear or intimidation to determine your action,” wrote the EFF leader on Twitter.

One of the organisers of the march, Mcebo Dlamini, an outspoken youth league member, said it was embarrassing that the ANC Youth League’s president, Collen Maine, said he would bring more than 6 000 “unemployed” youth to defend the ANC’s headquarters against the protesters.

ANC spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said even though the ANC was not in agreement with how the group was raising its grievances, they would “protect” their right to protest, and their right to disagree.

“As the ANC, we respect the right of every member of the ANC or society to raise whatever grievances they would have. While we may not support the manner in which they are going about their protest, we will always protect the right to demonstrate peacefully … respecting the rights of others to disagree as well.”

The Occupy Luthuli House group is demanding, among other things “that the ANC immediately recall President Jacob Gedleyehlekisa Zuma as President of the Republic of South Africa, and that NEC members follow suit and resign”.

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