Bottle allegedly shattered in cop's face during EFF violence

2016-11-03 18:03
Police and EFF supporters. (News24)

Police and EFF supporters. (News24)

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WATCH: EFF supporters gear up for Pretoria mass march

2016-11-02 09:37

EFF supporters took to the streets of Pretoria for the #SaveSouthAfrica march following a night vigil.WATCH

Johannesburg - A senior police officer was struck in the face with a glass bottle with such force that it shattered, during an EFF march in Tshwane, police said on Thursday.

He was attacked while sitting in a police vehicle next to the Union Buildings on Wednesday, during the EFF’s show of support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said in a statement.

He sustained several deep cuts to his face. His nose was half-severed. He underwent surgery on Wednesday evening.

A second officer, also a captain, was taken to a nearby clinic after he was struck on the leg with a stone.

Phahlane said a gathering at St Albans Cathedral and a march from Princess Park to the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court were peaceful and without incident.

However, the EFF’s night vigil and march were marred by violence and intimidation. Stones were thrown at cars and the windows of buildings and shops. Food and liquor outlets, clothing and sportswear stores, and a hotel, were looted, roads were barricaded and traffic disrupted, and police officers were attacked.

On Wednesday, Church Square was flooded with red as thousands of EFF members, dressed in party colours, gathered to march to the court where Gordhan and two former Sars colleagues had been scheduled to appear on fraud charges.

The party had given undertakings that the march would be peaceful. Instead of making their way to court, they converged on the Union Buildings, Phahlane said.

They ran riot after party leader Julius Malema told them to occupy the streets.

He said the marchers were extremely unruly and tried to force their way through the police line. When they failed to do so they threw objects at police officers. Police arrested 28 people on charges including malicious damage to property, public violence, burglary, and assault.

The march had initially been planned to show support for Gordhan after the NPA charged him, former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula, and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay with fraud.

NPA head Shaun Abrahams announced on Monday that he had withdrawn the charges against the three.

Read more on:    police  |  eff  |  pretoria  |  politics  |  protests

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