Gauteng legislature lays criminal charges against EFF

2014-07-23 15:59

The Gauteng legislature has laid criminal charges against members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

“We have opened charges of trespassing, damage to property and intimidation,” said Hlengiwe Bhengu, acting secretary to the legislature.

The case was opened in Joburg last night.

She said the charges related to EFF members and their leader Julius Malema’s alleged forced entry into the legislature, looting food catered for the sitting, assaulting members of the SA Police Service, throwing broken bottles at the legislature building and vandalising legislature property.

Malema led about 2 000 red-clad members to the legislature yesterday to protest over the ejection of their MPLs from a sitting because they were wearing red overalls bearing slogans.

Legislature speaker Ntombi Mekgwe ordered them out of the house on July 1 for wearing their overalls with “Asijiki” which means “We do not retreat” inscribed on the back.

Bhengu said transport MEC Ismail Vadi as well as another person had also opened criminal cases against the EFF.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse defiant EFF supporters at the legislature on Tuesday evening.

Stun grenades were thrown inside the foyer of the legislature from where Malema and others were refusing to move.

Several people, including Malema, were injured. Malema was hit by an object thrown from the crowd.

EFF national coordinator Mpho Ramakatsa came out of the legislature limping and media liaison officer Lerato Motsa was hit on the leg.

Motsa said Malema was not badly injured and he managed to whisk away a member who was shot at and fell.

“The commander-in-chief is fine,” she said.

Party supporters allegedly looted hawkers’ stalls, burnt a mobile police satellite station, and broke windows of several shops on their way to Braamfontein, where they assembled in the morning.

On their way to the legislature, they defied police by refusing to turn right into De Villiers Street, instead continuing straight on to Rissik Street facing oncoming traffic.

On arrival they broke through the police cordon and stormed into the building.

They vowed not to leave until their MPLs were allowed back into the legislature.

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