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Malema braves stones, bottles in Nkandla

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iol pic eff nkandla house

SAPA

EFF party members put the finishing touches to a house that they plan to hand over to a woman and her orphaned grandchildren. Picture: Giordano Stolley/SAPA

 

Nkandla -

ANC supporters began throwing stones and bottles of water after EFF leader Julius Malema arrived at the handover of a house in Nkandla, near President Jacob Zuma's controversial homestead.

Earlier the several hundred African National Congress supporters protested near Zuma's home, and marched past the home the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) built for a woman and her grandchildren.

When Malema's car arrived the ANC supporters blocked the road and prevented his car from driving past.

Malema then got out of the car and walked through the crowd to get to the house.

After he made it through, supporters began throwing bottles of water and stones.

Police used truncheons to stop some of the people and kept the ANC and EFF members separate.

The entrance to the house property, which was about 300 metres from the perimeter fence of Zuma's residence, was manned by a contingent of police officers.

Police had erected a roadblock about a kilometre from the house. All vehicles passing through the roadblock were thoroughly searched.

Earlier, a group of around 40 police officers in riot gear were briefed near the entrance to the EFF house.

About 70 police cars, as well Nyalas, riot vehicles and a police tow-truck lined the road. A helicopter flew overhead.

Earlier 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.

The EFF said on Friday that 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 convener 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


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