Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema described the former party regional chairperson and councillor Koketso Mojatau, who was slain in Ekurhuleni, as a selfless fighter who died at the hands of young people that he wanted to free from poverty.
Mojatau, 42, was killed over the weekend and was buried in Katlehong yesterday, the same day as millions of South Africans observed Freedom Day.
Mojatau and his friend were victims of a hijacking, which earlier this year the Gauteng police commissioner said was on the rise.
Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) Specialised Task Team (STT) officers, in conjunction with members of the Ekurhuleni Thathazonke Unit, arrested seven suspects for murder and hijacking in the Phumula area.
The suspects will appear at the Palm Ridge Court today.
Mojatau’s family members described him as a humble person who fought for his community.
Friend and colleague Julius Mdluli, who also went to the crime scene, told mourners that after Mojatau was shot, he did not die immediately; however, locals failed to call emergency services or help him.
“We received a call from Gauteng EFF chairperson Nkululeko Dunga that Mojatau had been shot and left on the ground. By the time we arrived, it was too late. Had the community cared since he was shot twice in front of people, they could have called an ambulance. It is heartbreaking that he left us behind. It is shocking that the suspects are young people who drink in a nearby drinking spot. We established that they commit heinous crimes like housebreaking and forcing people to transfer money using their apps,” Mdluli said.
Malema, while addressing the funeral, said they were there to bury one of their own who said the Struggle was not enough.
He said April 27, 1994, assured political freedom.
“We still need economic freedom for the total emancipation of our people. We’re here to dip our revolutionary flag in honour of a soldier of the movement of economic freedom in our lifetime who dedicated his life to the future of this country and of Gauteng and Ekurhuleni in particular. We are here today to mourn and to celebrate at the same time the massive contribution of this young man who made his mark in so many lives, not only in his family, not only in this community, but in the lives of many other people within a short space of time,” Malema said.
He further said: “We honour a young man whose life was taken too soon and was taken by those whom he was fighting for. The most painful thing about the death of Mojatau is that he was killed by those he wanted to free from the chains of poverty because we are driven by the conviction that many are committing crime because they are suffering. The levels of poverty are too high in our country. And if we defeat poverty, defeat unemployment, and reclaim the land from those who stole it, then our people will live in peace, and the big wars we experience in the suburban areas of South Africa will collapse because there will no longer be crime,” Malema said.