Upbeat economic freedom marchers chant ‘shoot the boer’

2011-10-27 09:01

Scores of ANC Youth League supporters from various provinces started gathering at Beyers Naude Square in central Joburg this morning, ahead of an “economic freedom youth mass action” march.

The group was in an upbeat mood, singing and chanting revolutionary songs, including the controversial “dubul’ibhunu (shoot the boer)” chant, which has been declared hate speech by a court.

Marchers also sang “siyaya phambili noma besidubula (we are going forward even though they shoot at us)”.

The gloomy weather with its threat of rain was worrying some protesters, but many were adamant they would continue with the march.

An 18-year-old youth, Karen Sako from the youth league leader Julius Malema’s hometown in Seshego in Limpopo, said the trip was worth it because it could help improve their lives.

“I did not sleep last night (Wednesday). I was singing with my fellow comrades throughout the night because I believe Malema has what it takes to change the lives of the youth for the better,” said Sako.

“I hope my participation in this march will help me get a job.”

Others who spent the night on a bus like Sako, were Phuso Mtshwana from Northern Cape and Thabo Machaka from Limpopo.

Mtshwana said he and other unemployed youth arrived in Joburg last night and were looking forward to the march.

“I will march all the way to Pretoria today. I am here because of the promises of the president (Jacob Zuma),” he said.

Machaka, who had been waiting at the square since 5am, seemed unsure when asked about his reason for joining the march.

“I want a job,” he said hesitantly.
Supporters were expected to march from Beyers Naude Square to the Chamber of Mines in Joburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton – and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings tomorrow.

Amid the blowing of vuvuzelas, loud music could be heard from a sound system at the back of a carrier truck expected to lead the marchers.

Prisoners’ rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu was wrapped in chains as he led another small group of protesters toyi-toying around the square.

Bhudu held a placard with the words: “ANCYL is spot-on [about] land expropriation and nationalisation of the mines”.

A chained Bhudu also attended Malema’s disciplinary hearing at Luthuli House last month. That gathering turned violent and the crowd pelted police, reporters and onlookers with debris including half-bricks.

Malema supporters also burnt ANC flags and T-shirts with pictures of ANC President Jacob Zuma printed on them.

Yesterday, a large police and metro police contingent was keeping a close eye on the situation at the square. Security personnel included a private security company hired by the City of Johannesburg.

Traffic disruptions were expected due to road closures around the city and through to Rosebank and Sandton today.

Youth league officials walked around handing out reflective vests to protesters and the media.

Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said there would be a zero tolerance approach to all lawlessness, including drinking in public, indecent acts, contravention of municipal by-laws, looting, damage to property and any other criminal activity.

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