Protest ahead of EFF house handover

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iol pi nkandla anc members

SAPA

EFF members, wearing the party's distinctive red berets, put final touches to the roof of a home built for a woman and her grandchildren, while ANC supporters demonstrate in the foreground. Picture: Giordano Stolley/SAPA

Nkandla -

A few hundred African National Congress supporters protested outside President Jacob Zuma's controversial Nkandla residence on Saturday ahead of the EFF's handover of a house.

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 the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) built for a woman and her grandchildren. 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 ANC supporters gathered on the road near Zuma's home, singing. They later began marching, escorted by police, who made sure they remained on the right side of the road.

Several of them wore t-shirts bearing Zuma's face.

They marched past the house slowly without incident, stopping several times to sing songs and shout: “Phansi Julius [Down with EFF leader Julius Malema]” .

Malema was only expected to arrive for the handing over ceremony later in the day.

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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