Marchers take a break

2011-10-27 14:17

The ANC Youth League’s march for economic freedom stopped in Killarney, northern Joburg, to wait for a water tanker.

Marchers were dehydrated and some people had fainted, metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said.

She estimated there were more than 5 000 people making their way from the Joburg CBD to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton.

Flora Nkwinika (56) from Alexandra sat on the pavement with ten other older women waiting for the march to resume.

The mother of seven looked tired, but said she would continue walking to Pretoria.

“My children are grown up but they are not working because of the scarcity of jobs in this country,” she said.

“I hope that this march will change their lives forever ... that they get jobs and financial aid from the government to start businesses.”

She had been living in a shack in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, since 1990.

At least five people, one of them a man on crutches, were sitting on the back of a truck.

Mamonyane said they were all dehydrated.

The marchers sang and danced when they set off from the CBD earlier in the day.

However, by the time they reached Killarney they were shuffling along quietly in the heat, led by a formation of police cars, four Casspirs and a water cannon.

Youth League leader Julius Malema had alternated between walking and riding in a van playing music, before the crowd stopped.

Onlookers from houses and businesses came out to try to catch a glimpse of Malema, while children from the Parktown Convent cheered him from within the school grounds.

Marshals placed bottles of water along the pavement for the crowd.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the march had been peaceful so far.

“There have been no disruptions since the march started. Everything is peaceful.”

Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Gwen Lane in Sandton, where the marchers were headed, was prepared.

Its underground parking entrances were sealed off with railing gates wrapped in black plastic, while police in bakkies waited at the end of Gwen Lane.

One entrance to the road had been blocked off with gates.

Nedbank on West Street had its own security officers outside, while security company members in military-style uniforms wandered around with dogs.

Barbed wire had been placed outside the Protea Hotel Balalaika, which is situated opposite the JSE. 

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