EFF member dies outside High Court

By Drum Digital
06 March 2014

EFF leader Julius Malema told hundreds of supporters in red regalia that his party would finance the funeral arrangements of the unidentified man.

Economic Freedom Fighters members observed a minute of silence outside the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday in remembrance of their colleague who died.

"He was here fighting for the rights of the black child. We must be very proud of that fighter. We want to say to him: 'in us you have reliable fighters and we will not betray what you died for'," he said.

"We are going to bury him. His family is not going to pay any cent. We are taking full responsibility. We have lost a friend and a fellow fighter."

The EFF member died after he collapsed outside the High Court.

The man's body lay on the ground covered in foil by mid-afternoon after Tshwane emergency staff tried to resuscitate him earlier.

Metro police, emergency staff and members of the EFF stood around him as they waited for the government mortuary vehicle to arrive and collect the body.

Earlier, staff administered CPR on the man for over an hour.

The man wore an EFF shirt and black jeans and had joined about a hundred party members singing outside court.

The supporters had been singing and chanting since 11am.

They ran around Church Square carrying placards with slogans against President Jacob Zuma.

EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi confirmed that the man, only identified as Max, had died.

"He was running on Church Square, he got tripped by the chains around Paul Kruger's statue" said Ndlozi.

"He fell terribly on his head. His name is Max. It was an accident."

The party was in court, seeking an interdict against having to pay a deposit to the Independent Electoral Commission when submitting lists of candidates for the upcoming elections.

EFF members aggressively barred journalists from taking pictures at the scene.

Malema commended the EFF supporters "for protecting the dignity" of their colleague.

The party has taken President Jacob Zuma, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, and the IEC to court.

Political parties have to pay a deposit of more than R600,000 - R45,000 per province and R200,000 to fully contest the polls nationally.

Judge Joseph Raulinga reserved his judgment on the matter. He hinted that his verdict would be announced before May 12 - the closing day set by the IEC for the submission of party candidates' lists.

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