1 minute read
24 Jul 2014
12:12 pm

No EFF members arrested – police

No EFF supporters have been arrested for their behaviour in the Gauteng legislature, Gauteng police said on Thursday.

EFF members during a protest by EFF at the Gauteng Legislature, 22 July 2014. The protesters destroyed the door to the legislature, and engaged in running battles with the police. Picture Neil McCartney

“No one has been arrested,” Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.

The legislature said it was assessing damage caused during the Economic Freedom Fighters’ protest on Tuesday. It has said it intended to file a civil lawsuit.

“The violent protest by the EFF on Tuesday has resulted in malicious damage to state property,” it said in a statement.

The damage included broken windows, doors, and furniture.

Beeld reported that they left faeces, plastic bottles of urine, dirty mats and a smouldering heap of rubble in their wake.

It quoted committees’ chairwoman Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko as saying that loudspeakers were stolen. A section of a ceiling collapsed after EFF members used a fire hose to spray water into corridors on the second floor. Gold-plated copper doorknobs, over 100 years old, were ripped off and stolen.

WATCH: EFF members storm GP Legislature

The legislature laid criminal charges against the EFF on Tuesday night, after party members, including leader Julius Malema, stormed into the building.

At the time, Dlamini confirmed that cases of public violence and malicious damage to property were opened at the Johannesburg Central police station.

The legislature’s acting secretary Hlengiwe Bhengu said charges of trespassing, damage to property, and intimidation had been laid.

The charges related to the EFF’s forced entry into the legislature, looting food catered for the sitting, assaulting police officers, and vandalising property.

Malema led about 2000 red-clad members in a protest over the ejection of their MPLs from a sitting because they wore red overalls bearing slogans.

Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe ordered them out of the House on July 1 for wearing red overalls with “asijiki” (we do not retreat) inscribed on the back.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse EFF supporters at the legislature on Tuesday evening. Stun grenades were thrown inside the foyer.