The police were lenient on the EFF - deputy speaker

By Drum Digital
23 July 2014

"They violated a National Key-Point Act and should actually be thankful our police service was that lenient."

Gauteng legislature deputy speaker, Uhuru Moiloa, says the use of force by police was "minimal" in light of the transgressions made by members of the EFF when they stormed the legislature building on Tuesday. "They violated a National Key-Point Act and should actually be thankful our police service was that lenient," Moiloa said as he took DRUM through the spaces occupied by Julius Malema and about 100 party members. Malema, who was meant to hand over a memorandum to Moiloa, stormed into the building with some of his constituents. The ceiling of a coffee bar on the ground floor of the legislature had to be replaced after it had been drenched in liquid from a room on the floor above. Members of the EFF had allegedly stormed into a meeting room, breaking all its fire extinguishers, opening taps and urinating in the corridor and into plastic juice bottles. "It was a lake here yesterday," Moiloa said.

A member of staff who had been repairing yesterday's damage said "the less said about those people, the better. How are you supposed to lead a whole country when you behave like this?" He could not be named as the incident is still under investigation and does not want to be implicated. The deputy speaker was disappointed by Malema and the EFF's conduct as he believes he was accommodating. "I waited outside the building just by the pond for about 20 minutes. I later waited for him inside. They stomped in and he [Malema] demanded to be met in the Members' Lounge. This was illegal, but we agreed to do so," he recalled. After hours of Malema's refusal to speak to Moiloa and the EFF's continued damage to property-which includes an alleged incident where police had fire extinguishers pumped into their faces, impairing their vision - Moiloa decided the situation was beyond his control. "There were talks of some members carrying guns and I could just tell these people were not here to hand over a memorandum, so I handed them over to the national police service." The legislature will continue with its investigation into the incident, which has now become a provincial case. Moiloa said they would be pressing charges, some of which would include trespassing, theft and damage to property. EFF members are said to have gone into the kitchen and helped themselves to food prepared for MPLs.

"They have undermined the rule of law and the constitution itself. They have caused great damage to Gauteng and the country as a whole. What are people saying about this?"

Asked about the force used on un-armed members marching outside the building, Moiloa said the police did what they had to: "We cannot confirm what ammunition was used at this point, but the police acted in the face of a security threat," he said.

The EFF could not be reached for comment.

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