WATCH: EFF Limpopo secretary in a bloody altercation

2018-05-14 18:57
An altercation where a man was attacked by people in EFF regalia. (YouTube screen grab)

An altercation where a man was attacked by people in EFF regalia. (YouTube screen grab)

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A fight between members of the EFF and those of a newly formed organisation calling itself the Radical Economic Transformation Forum (RETF) has left at least three people, including a councillor, injured.

Some of the injured were hit on the head with what appear to be baseball bats.

In a short video sent to News24, people dressed in EFF T-shirts can be seen carrying baseball bats and hitting several people outside a five-star hotel in Polokwane on Monday.

The RETF said two of its members had to be hospitalised.  

The RETF has accused EFF provincial secretary Jossey Buthane of being behind the violence. Buthane was present during the altercation.

Spokesperson Thabo Mabotja claims that Buthane stormed into an RETF meeting with construction group Basil Read and the South African National Roads Agency and threatened to break one of the RETF leader's legs. However, they were able to talk him out of it and he left.

Mabotja claims Buthane was then heard speaking on the phone asking for EFF members to come to the hotel.

He says as the meeting started, the gathering was alerted by a security guard to an attack against one of its councillors.

'A provincial bully'

"When we left the building we were confronted by a mob of EFF hooligans who were calling for blood," Mabotja said.  

He said he managed to escape the bat-wielding group uninjured.

When News24 spoke to Mabotja, he said he was at the police station laying an attempted murder complaint.

"[Buthane] is just a legal delinquent that resorts to violence all the time, so even now nothing is going to happen to him.

"The police are afraid of him because he feels no one can touch him. People have opened cases and nothing happened to him. He is a provincial bully and he bullies everyone," Mabotja said.

But Buthane has denied the claims. He said he called for calm during the violent confrontation and insisted that EFF members were "defending" themselves.

Black businesses allegedly harassed

"We did not cause the violence, we were provoked. They wanted to fight us, and we defended ourselves," Buthane said.

He released a press statement on Saturday accusing the RETF of harassing black business people in Limpopo and closing down their businesses.

He said the newly formed organisation was using radical economic transformation to settle political scores, claiming that a local mayor and a provincial ANC leader were behind the RETF.

Buthane told News24 that the RETF had closed down at least two businesses.

"The police must act quickly… on these criminal activities and stop sleeping on duty. If they continue to get lazy and fat on their chairs (sic) the EFF is going to occupy that space.

"The EFF here in Limpopo is committed to defending the defenceless black businesses of Limpopo. We will meet these thugs toe to toe in defence of [the] black child," he said.

Buthane claims that he went to the meeting after RETF members arrived at an EFF office and threatened to shut it down.

"When we want to understand why they are doing that. They had sticks in a grey bakkie, that is when the fight started," Buthane said.

However, RETF said Buthane had been baying for blood since Monday morning, pointing to a Facebook post where he said the EFF would be patrolling the streets of the city as evidence.

Mabotja said the RETF was fighting to ensure that every big company that gets a tender of more than R30m gives 30% to local contractors as dictated by government policy.

Read more on:    eff  |  polokwane

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