EFF protests at Gauteng police headquarters against Phiyega

2013-09-06 13:40

Eight members of the Economic Freedom Fighters held a brief picket outside the Gauteng police headquarters in Johannesburg.

Members of the EFF provincial command team sang struggle songs, including “Siyaya” (“We are going forward”) and danced in a circle, watched by a handful of police.

The protesters, wearing red accessories associated with the newly registered political party, shouted slogans including “Down with [national police commissioner] Riah Phiyega, down”, and “Viva EFF, viva”.

Spokesman Patrick Sindane said today they were protesting over Phiyega’s recent appointment of Maj-Gen Bethuel Mondli Zuma as Gauteng police commissioner.

The appointment was later withdrawn when it was found Zuma faced a charge of drunk driving.

Zuma, who is not related to President Jacob Zuma, was to have replaced Lt-Gen Mzwandile Petros, whose last day as provincial commissioner was on Saturday.

EFF leader Julius Malema did not attend the picket.

Addressing a small group of reporters and a few police officers standing at a distance, Sindane said: “I will just speak so that everyone can hear.”

“We are here as the Gauteng central command team to picket against the appointment and withdrawal of Zuma.

“We don’t care whether it [the appointment] was withdrawn when it was discovered what kind of a drunkard he is.”

The fact that the appointment process, including police background checks, did not prevent Zuma’s appointment indicated that Phiyega was “failing dismally”, he claimed.

Such failures threatened to turn Gauteng into a “Mickey Mouse province”.

“We, as the EFF, cannot allow that to happen... As a protest movement, we can never be passive spectators.”

Sindane said the event was merely a small picket as a preparatory step towards a massive march to be held in Gauteng.

The EFF called for Phiyega to be recalled from her post.

Sindane said the picket was brief because the provincial EFF members needed to be in Pretoria for another picket, which would take place at the SA National Roads Agency Ltd offices.

Before the picket, EFF members distributed party membership application forms at a petrol station next to the provincial police headquarters.

The membership forms call on prospective members to abide by the party’s “aims, objectives and radical policies” and include a section for donations to the party.

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