Youth League chases EFF off campus

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema

Published Jul 27, 2013


Johannesburg - Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were chased away from the University of Johannesburg by ANC Youth League members - some wielding hockey sticks.

A tense stand-off ensued when EFF members tried to enter UJ’s Doornfontein campus to address students on financial exclusion and other matters.

This came as the government vowed to act if Malema and the EFF act on threats to seize farms – one of his election promises since launching his new party.

Malema said this week the EFF manifesto included the non-negotiable principles of land expropriation and nationalisation of mines, both without compensation.

“We are going to take this government and once we take it, we are not going to negotiate, we are going to take our land,” Malema said this week. “We are going to take it because it’s our land.”

But yesterday dozens of security guards and league members prevented the group, which included businessman and “Sushi King” Kenny Kunene, who arrived in a flashy BMW, from entering the premises. Malema was not seen at the university.

All were clad in the party’s signature red berets.

Those outside demanded they be let in, saying they had been given permission to host the events, but the guards would not relent. The EFF members began chanting anti-Zuma slogans.

“UJ is remotely controlled from Luthuli House,” Kunene said to applause and whistles.

“Amagwala (referring to the ANC as cowards) gave their lapdogs T-shirts to make noise. But these tactics will not discourage or weaken the spirit to establish EFF.”

He told the students that many of them graduated from varsity as chartered accountants and yet a minority of black accountants were placed in jobs by the CA board.

A handful of students in ANC shirts jeered at EFF members in songs. EFF members in turn shouted: “We will moer you.”

It was not clear whether Malema, the ousted youth league president, had been watching the commotion from his car but he was not seen on the scene. Soon afterwards students belonging to EFF ripped, tore and stomped on an ANC shirt.

UJ spokesman Herman Esterhuizen said the university did not cancel the event. “There was no application submitted to varsity management on time. Therefore this was an unscheduled event. It takes eight weeks for the university to approve application. We only received the relevant documents from the student body this week.”

He said that the EFF members who were already inside UJ were students who used their access cards to gain entry.

The EFF criticised UJ for denying the group access.

“UJ must be ashamed that it has joined the long queue of manipulated public institutions used to settle political scores by the ruling party,” spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

“We are not moved. If anything, the events of the University of Johannesburg, like others earlier this week in the Vaal and other areas across the country, only serve as proof that ZANC (Zuma-ANC) is intimidated and now they resort to cheap tricks of intimidation, manipulation and street gossip,” Ndlozi said.

Later, in Soweto, the EFF got the rousing welcome they were expecting at UJ.

A sea of red berets and caps greeted the media last night at Uncle Tom’s Community Hall in Orlando West.

Hundreds stood outside in long lines waiting to be accredited. They sang “we’re changing Zuma’s reign” and “when you’re a person and you support Zuma you’re crazy, you’re a fool”, in Sepedi.

By the time of going to press Malema had not arrived.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said if Malema and EFF supporters occupied farms or agricultural land, action would be taken.

“There is no way we will allow people to sow discord in our farming communities for party-political gains,” she said.

She was reacting to the EFF’s founding manifesto, released on Thursday, in which it said that all land should be transferred, without compensation, to the state.

Joemat-Pettersson told Beeld that it was a misperception that all commercial farmers were white. Violence and farm murders had already traumatised rural communities. Anyone who encouraged illegal action on farms would face the full might of the law, she said.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma took a swipe at the EFF yesterday and urged ANC supporters at Folweni, south of Durban, not to back new parties. He said voting for parties not in government would be like throwing away their rights.

“We are encouraging you to register and to know who to vote for because there are many people who are forming unknown political parties, claiming these parties will help people; this is a dream. They are dreaming because they are not in government and they are claiming they can do better for the people. They’ll never do anything because they’ll never be in government,” says Zuma.

This week Malema’s last property was sold for nearly R1.5 million at an auction in Limpopo on Tuesday. Earlier this year, Malema’s incomplete Sandown mansion was bought for R5.9m by Limpopo businessman Norman Tloubatla.

The EFF leader’s Schuilkraal farm in Polokwane was bought for R2.5m by Callie Calitz of Wencor Holdings. The farm had been seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit in March. - Additional reporting Sapa

Saturday Star

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