High security ahead of EFF house handoverComment on this story
There was a massive police presence in Nkandla, near the homestead of President Jacob Zuma, on Saturday, ahead of the EFF's handover of a house in the town.
Police erected a roadblock about a kilometre out from the house the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) built for a woman and her children. They thoroughly searched all vehicles passing through.
The house was 300 metres from the perimeter fence of Zuma's residence.
About 70 police cars, as well Nyalas, riot vehicles and a police tow-truck lined the road.
A group of EFF members, wearing the party's distinctive red berets, were putting the final touches to the roof of the home. The walls of the house were freshly plastered.
A marquee with chairs was set up next to the house.
Several hundred African National Congress supporters gathered on the road near Zuma's home, singing.
The EFF said on Friday that its leader Julius Malema would not inspect Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
EFF “central command team” member Sipho Mbatha said: “He is not going to visit the palace. We don't want things to get too excited”.
EFF KwaZulu-Natal convenor Vusi Khoza reiterated that Malema would not be inspecting Zuma's residence.
Khoza said EFF workers had been told they could not build the house wearing EFF clothing.
He said the local chief told the EFF that their workers could build the house as long as they did not wear party regalia.
“We just respected him, but we are there each and every day. Maybe later when EFF is in power we can convert it [Zuma's Nkandla home] into an educational facility,” said Khoza. - Sapa