Protesters hitching rides as march takes toll

2011-10-27 21:09

Johannesburg - The last leg of an ANC Youth League "economic freedom" march was underway on Thursday evening, with scattered groups peacefully continuing the walk from Johannesburg to Pretoria.

Others followed in hundreds of buses and minibus taxis, with registration numbers from various provinces. Several ambulances were also part of the procession.

A large police contingent was waiting for their arrival at the Caledonian stadium in Pretoria. By 20:30, African National Congress Youth League members were on the R101 Old Pretoria Road in Midrand.

The third leg of the march, from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), started around 18:00, with leader Julius Malema leading the crowd on foot.

Several people were seen alternating between walking and hopping onto buses and taxis following the group, while the braver were walking and singing on their 50km trek to Pretoria.

Paramedics helped a man in his 30s who was feeling faint and could not stand. At least three empty buses were waiting on the side of the Old Pretoria Road.

Johannesburg metro police cars followed with flashing blue lights, while police armed with R5 rifles ensured no marchers got onto the M1 North highway from Marlboro Drive in Sandton.

In Pretoria, two television stations had arrived with vans for satellite broadcasts at the Caledonian stadium, where a night vigil was to be held ahead of the handing over a memorandum to the presidency at the Union Buildings on Friday morning.

Portable toilets and a stage had been set up while security staff in fluorescent jackets were dotted around the stadium.

Free my people

Earlier, Malema handed a memorandum of grievances to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg's city centre, before marching to the JSE in Sandton.

The weary marchers had a brief rest before resuming their walk to Pretoria, although a large number dispersed while others boarded buses and taxis.

Many of them had begun gathering from 05:00 in Beyers Naude Square in the Johannesburg CBD. They only began walking at noon, four hours later than planned due to transport problems.

Led by Malema, police cars, four Casspirs and a water cannon, the group sang and danced through the CBD.

Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya undertook to distribute the memorandum to its 55 members.

"We understand that the level of unemployment is too high and we agree with the youth league that the level of poverty is too high," he said.

The league wanted the nationalisation of mines and introduction of probation programmes within companies to give youth skills in mining. Malema urged supporters to exercise "maximum discipline" during their "long walk to economic freedom".

"Take your time and walk. We have the whole day and night. You must not run. We [the leadership] are coming to march with you because we are all from poor backgrounds."

Some of the placards carried by marchers read: "The real freedom is economic not parliamentary. Free my people."

Another, bearing slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's picture, read: "We salute anti-imperialist martyr Gaddafi".

Others read: "90 percent of the economy is still in the hands of the minority" and "Malema we must stand by you through thick and thin."

Stealing our wealth

When the group reached the JSE, Malema chanted: "Down with white capital monopoly. The people who are stealing our wealth must come on stage."

An official from the JSE received the memorandum from Malema, saying only: "Thank you for the opportunity. We will take your demands to the executive."

In response, some members of the crowd sang Dubul'ibhunu (shoot the boer), which has been declared hate speech by a court.

The last mass action by ANCYL members happened outside Luthuli House in central Johannesburg at the start of Malema's disciplinary hearing last month.

Youth league members threw rocks, bottles and bricks at journalists and police, and burnt ANC flags and T-shirts with pictures of President Jacob Zuma printed on them.

The march was taking place a day after testimony in Malema's disciplinary hearing was concluded. He and several co-leaders face charges of bringing the ruling party into disrepute.

Earlier, the SABC reported that members of the Congress of SA Students had forced pupils from Alexandra and Soweto schools to join the march.

  • Christo - 2011-10-27 21:14

    You're cheating!

      SimnikiweNtingi - 2011-10-27 21:38

      "Lead by example"... JuJu also cheated by Hopping into that van earlier. All is fair in a march...

  • ronel.cousins - 2011-10-27 21:18

    Is there anyone here,who could take a moment and explain to me,exactly what the JSE has to do for them?What is their expectations?

      Paul-Willem - 2011-10-27 21:21

      That's what I would like to know as well...

      SimnikiweNtingi - 2011-10-27 21:23

      JSE = Just Share Everything...hope that answers your question.

      Vusi - 2011-10-27 21:39

      What he is trying to achieve is crash our own stock market because he is never going to understand how an economy works. Sadly never. I just throw my hands up at the ANC and wonder when these people are going to see a light? When are they going to stand up and explain to him there is no point in grabbing the current wealth, we need to create new wealth or else he won't be able to drive around in the next Range Rover. I give up with this government!!!!

      SimnikiweNtingi - 2011-10-27 21:48

      @Vusi..."Never ever ever give up"...Winston Churchill

      Vusi - 2011-10-27 21:57

      Hi Levett. My blood is boiling tonight. How can it be so difficult to explain to my people how they should provide for their future? Has this all ended up being about the white man's money? Most of the wealthy white South Africans have left and are watching Sydney harbour tonight because they don't care anymore. We are the ones left here to deal with these uneducated trouble makers. @Sim. Yes I know, that was said in a moment of extreme anger. But I'm back fighting fit again! hahahahaha

      Gammat - 2011-10-27 22:40

      Vusi, if you want some great insight into the way the world economy has gone beserk, check the Keiser Report on RT telly. This world economy has become the single biggest ponzi ever.

  • Gareth - 2011-10-27 21:25

    Average walking speed of a "Young Adult" is around 7.6km per hour ... 50km to walk going to take about 7 hours.... What a joke! I must disagree on the value of this article, its priceless. Leave at 18:00 arrive at 20:30 (Um no, but I guess Maths was never JuJu's strong point), might be there at 01:00 if they fit.

      Jack - 2011-10-27 21:45

      Any ideas for a name for his autobiography after this uncalculated route march. ie. Wait talk walk lift sing shout towards swan twan tasw agh north for a new life. Definitely not another "Long walk to freedom".

      Devlin - 2011-10-28 10:07

      What is of 30 years old doing there? so how old do you have to be in the YOUTH LEAGUE

  • Judith - 2011-10-27 21:31

    The tragedy is that Juju had no idea of the length of the march, did not plan for water points or food and has not not marched on foot with his followers. What a callous and ignorant man

      boatmedic - 2011-10-27 22:04

      Its exactly like all other planning the ANC does. Young or old. All the same...

      Gareth - 2011-10-27 22:33

      It is pitiful actually, to put it in perspecitive the world record holder in the Mens Marathon is Patrick Makau at 2h03min38 sec or 2min 55 a km. He would make it there are 20:26... so 4 min to spare.

  • Paul-Willem - 2011-10-27 21:32

    I'm just wondering, do any of these people know how the economy works? Or haven't they thought that far as to what impact all these shenanigans and demands of them will have on South Africa as a whole. Rather let the government and MPC do their jobs to relieve poverty and reduce unemployment. They can't merely give someone a list of what they want and then their demands will magically be met. Sigh...

      Wouter - 2011-10-27 22:22

      I would take a wild guess that you are employed and your fat salary was in your bank account by the 25th? The economy works very well for you but for plenty unemployed people, black and white, its not that simple to understand how the economy works. Infact, its very easy for them to understand that its not working. As a white South African, i take my hat of to these people for doing something.99% of whites are to "slapgat" to walk 200m for anything.

      colin.bompas - 2011-10-27 22:25

      Problem is that Juju is not worried about the country's economy. All he is striving for is power. He wants to score in the eyes of the youth. People are easy to stir up if you make them feel they will get something for nothing and cannot have it. He is "sharp" man.

      Paul-Willem - 2011-10-27 22:30

      I am in fact, not employed, just a student whose working his ass off so I can one day go into the labour force and earn my living. I'n not judging any of the marchers, just juluis malema and everyone who had a part in setting up the demands, demands of things way beyond their comprehension. I also take my hat off for the marchers, I'm just sad that they are being used for a inter-party power struggle between malema and the ANC. This march will achieve nothing, so those people are doing it in vain.

      Wouter - 2011-10-27 22:45

      Paul, I hear what you saying and agree that it's crazy what these dudes are doing but they are at least doing something. You work your budd of now and the chances are pretty good that that there will not be a space for you in the formal sector whenever you complete your studies. Something is not right. I think I've lost faith in the concept of capitalism somewhere down the line and a crazy WALK like this makes a little sense. Just a pitty the 1000's of unemployed white youths did not join in even if it was only for the last 100 m to the JSE.

  • lioneldelange - 2011-10-27 21:44

    Idiots, there's not much more anyone can say about them.

  • Fourhundredkg - 2011-10-27 21:46

    Hahaahahahahaheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehoooooooooooooooo! Ha ha! The long bus/taxi ride to freedom. Hoo hooo heeeee!

  • Grant - 2011-10-27 21:51

    I love it when I can say, "I told you so!". I've said all along that they would not march to Pretoia. Strange that I sitting in front of my computer could see this yet the organisers could not. The marchers are supposed to be poor yet they can afford to get on busses and taxis to join a useless protest. I say useless because nothing will come of it ; the country's wealth will stay where it is and there will be fewer jobs. I believe this whole fruitless exercise is just a power struggle in the ANC. The marchers today are just people who only have one thing left : hope. They will believe anything.

  • Alva - 2011-10-27 21:53

    I wonder if the walk will help Juju loose his boep?

  • Emile - 2011-10-27 21:59

    is SAB breweries involved?

  • Frank - 2011-10-27 22:01

    Hey! If they all sing "We are marching to Pretoria"; it might help their morale and speed a bit.He.he.he

      Alva - 2011-10-27 22:08

      Or Talking Heads, 'We're on the road to no where'......

  • Hennie - 2011-10-27 22:07

    LOL Really silly. Just shows their commitment. Can't even make a statement and finish a days worth of hard work for freedom. How can they ever hope to work hard for their economic freedom with a normal job day in and day out for years. Makes me sick to see how the youth of SA is learning that the only way to obtain economic freedom is to demand while standing and telling people to give them stuff without work. at the front a guy who has economic freedom, obtained through nefarious means and their hero? A man who plundered a country to the brink of collapse. I suppose Mugabe is another hero to them. I feel so proud to be a South African right now. NOT!!!!

  • Jenny - 2011-10-27 22:15

    "Earlier, the SABC reported that members of the Congress of SA Students had forced pupils from Alexandra and Soweto schools to join the march." - Call me crazy, but WTF???

  • Michael - 2011-10-27 22:19

    Is it just me or can somebody else also see the irony of marchers wearing pro-Gaddafi t-shirts? Where is the logic of any person marching for economic liberation (a notion that I agree in certain respects) supporting a despot who raped and killed his people? Sorry but I simply don't get it. If the ANCYL want people to sit up and REALLY take notice, they need to start taking those logic tabs :p

      Joseph - 2011-10-27 22:31

      one man`s meat is another man`s poisan.

  • Mtizozo - 2011-10-27 22:20

    Can we name the top five key pointS to economic fredom, 1, EDUCATION. 2,?

      Hennie - 2011-10-27 22:32

      Hard work

      Donny Doncaster - 2011-10-27 22:48


      alansmart223 - 2011-10-28 06:59

      @Paul-Willem "Rather let the government do their work" is a nice idea. Trouble is they see their "work" as fleecing off as much as they can. I some times wonder if corruption is perhaps in their individual job descriptions

  • Sharon - 2011-10-27 22:29

    Good thing they didn't plan their march for this past monday - ag shame, they would have dried up and been blown away had there been a breeze

  • Gammat - 2011-10-27 22:47

    I wonder how Julius cannot see that this very march he is so proud off should be against him as well and all those with their tenderpreneur get rich quick mentality, IT AND THEY ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! If you want a good example of someone that lead their people, look at Mohandas Ghandi and they way he lived. Your extravagant lifestyle speaks of your lust after western money and your style is pure greed my china.

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2011-10-27 23:13

    I challenge everyone in our Rainbow Nation to give these people who are obviously desperate a lift home and something to eat. Do your own census and try to dispel some of the myths. People are really suffering and are grasping at straws. Thus we have the Pied Piper of Hamlyn and the Emperor with no Clothes. God bless Africa, we are in deep umdaga Inja.

  • Adriana - 2011-10-28 05:20

    Dear Mr. Malema, the stage will be too small for you and the rest of the ANC tenderpreneurs, moreover a fair amount of the mines already belong to ANC cardres and their BEE chums,... quite a few of these have direct links to parlement!

  • mbalati - 2011-10-28 06:22

    i dont think this is realy necesary

  • alansmart223 - 2011-10-28 06:33

    The unemployment and resultant poverty are a direct result of the minimum wage act and the intervention of the Goverment by enacting stringent labour laws. If labour followed the basic economics of supply and demand I am pretty sure that unemployment and poverty would be reduced to a guestimate of about 80%.

  • alansmart223 - 2011-10-28 06:48

    @Paul-Willem "Rather let the government do their work" is a nice idea. Trouble is they see their "work" as fleecing off as much as they can. I some times wonder if corruption is perhaps in their individual job descriptions

  • Ian - 2011-10-28 06:59

    hey fat pig, the johnny walker logo character is white, you supposed to hate everything white you racist piece of scum

  • Julie - 2011-10-28 07:24

    The only way to address the poverty and umemployment here and in the rest of Africa is to stop breeding like flies. Africa in particlar should learn that of you cannot feed, one should not breed... However, one might as well talk to the east wind for all the good it will do.

  • Gail - 2011-10-28 14:46

    Wonder how they plan to get home? We are marching to Pretoria, Pretoria, Pretoria.Remember that old song. I don't know where they were marching from then but there was no happy song about returning from there.

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