Julius Malema tells families to ‘freely use’ EFF lawyers to sue state

2014-02-03 17:50

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is offering legal assistance to the families of those allegedly shot dead by police in violent protests in Limpopo and is encouraging them to sue the state for their loss.

During his visit to Relela village outside Tzaneen earlier today, Malema asked other families not to hesitate to contact the EFF if they needed any form of assistance.

He pledged R10 000 to the family of 28-year-old Stanley Molewa who was one of the three people allegedly shot dead by police during violent protests last week.

Molewa, 15-year-old Tshepo Baloyi – who was buried at the weekend – and 16-year-old Clarence Molele allegedly died after being shot by police.

Malema visited their families and that of Kgomotso Ragolane who was found dead with her hand cut off over a week ago. It was 15-year-old Ragolane’s death that triggered widespread protests by those who believed she had been killed for muti.

After visiting the homes of the victims’ families, Malema went on to address an enthusiastic crowd that had packed Relela Hall.

He slammed the police for killing “innocent people” with impunity. He called for those who had shot dead residents to be arrested and dismissed from the police service.

Malema then turned to politics and urged the Relela community to vote EFF. “Teach [the ANC] a lesson. Tell them you can’t vote for those who kill people ... punish them through your cross [at the elections],” he said.

“This government has become arrogant. They exist as if there is nobody else except for themselves.”

Malema quoted Nelson Mandela’s statement that “if the ANC government does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government”, and encouraged residents to “follow Mandela’s instruction”.

“This is a shoot-to-kill government. You must change and vote for EFF so that you can get a better life.”

Malema said police must change their attitude or risk a rebellion by citizens. “They must change their attitude [otherwise] people will rise against them. The sooner they change the better,” he said.

“The police have gone out of order doing as they wish. They kill people and those cases vanish into thin air.”

Malema earlier told the victims’ families that EFF lawyers would fight for them to the end. “Government must take responsibility for using live ammunition on your children. EFF is there for you and we have a team of lawyers for you to freely use and sue the state,” he said.

Seemingly satisfied at the positive response received in Relela, Malema went on to urge residents to register for elections and vote for his party.

“From today, Relela belongs to EFF,” he said.

Meanwhile, calm had returned to Relela and Kubjana, which were plunged into violent protests last week. Barricaded roads had been cleared although ash and stones here and there on the streets bore evidence of the protests.

Police were seen at several points along the main road running through the villages while others kept guard at the Relela satellite police station which was attacked last week in an incident during which two people were shot dead.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega later said the police had been under siege – 20 members against 1 500 protesters – and were defending themselves against the crowd, which had allegedly intended to torch the station.

A memorial service was expected to be held on Thursday for those who had lost their lives while the families said they would all be buried on Saturday.

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