“I’ve seen some stupid police trying to provoke fighters. We’re not going to take any nonsense from police,” EFF leader Julius Malema told supporters on Friday morning at a march to oppose the alleged privatisation of Eskom.
Malema, shortly after arriving at Innesfree Park, took to the podium to urge supporters to maintain “maximum discipline” throughout the march headed for Eskom’s headquarters, Megawatt Park.
“High discipline, that’s what we want,” he said, because people would concentrate on “those small things, not on our march”.
While Malema rallied the troops, African Transformation Movement (ATM) head of policy and strategy Mzwanele Manyi said ATM supported the EFF’s march about state-owned entities.
“Government’s plan to allow other government entities to purchase energy from independent power producers (IPPs) will be detrimental to Eskom.”
Should government allow IPPs to participate in the market, Eskom may find itself unable to stay afloat, detractors allege. Eskom is already financially unable to sustain itself.
Manyi congratulated the EFF for taking the initiative to organise the march.
“We want to, first of all, congratulate the EFF for taking this initiative. For us as ATM, when we looked at our own objectives we find them resonating with what EFF is trying to do today.
Coal truck drivers, also protesting against IPPs, caused havoc on the roads headed to the march in Sandton. Several trucks caused major traffic delays in the already congested Sandton morning peak-hour traffic.
Joburg metro police confirmed the trucks would be used by protesters as part of the demonstrations.
The truck foundation arrived at Innesfree Park with banners declaring: “No truck driver, No electricity.”
EFF national spokesperson Delisiwe Ngwenya said the march was to fight the financial sector that sought to plunge state-owned entities into darkness.