Pretoria - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema
has promised to pay for the funeral of a man who died during a protest outside the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.
"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."
EFF members observed a minute of silence outside the court on Wednesday for the man.
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.Fell on his head
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 11:00.
They ran around Church Square carrying placards with slogans against President Jacob Zuma
EFF spokesperson 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."R600 000+ deposit
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 12 March - the closing day set by the IEC for the submission of party candidates' lists.