WATCH | Shopper pulls gun on EFF members during standoff in PE shopping centre

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A screenshot showing a shopper pulling a gun on EFF members at a PE mall.
A screenshot showing a shopper pulling a gun on EFF members at a PE mall.
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  • A 52-year-old shopper pulled a gun on EFF members during an altercation outside a Clicks store in Port Elizabeth.
  • The EFF supporters and the woman were taken to the police station, but refused to open cases against each other.
  • EFF Eastern Cape chairperson, Yazini Tetyana, said the party "enjoys irritating white people".

UPDATE: The woman who pulled the gun has since been charged. Read more here.

Dramatic scenes played out at Walmer Park Shopping Centre in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday morning when a shopper pulled a firearm on EFF protesters during day two of the party's nationwide Clicks shutdown protests.

The shocking incident was filmed, seemingly on a cellphone, in the foyer of the busy mall. The video has already been widely shared on social media platforms.

In the clip, four mall security guards in yellow vests can be seen trying to separate two women dressed in EFF red from the shopper.

ROLLING COVERAGE | EFF members storm Clicks stores across the country

One woman, believed to be a demonstrator, can be heard shouting, "Go back to Europe. F------ b----".

The demonstrators can be seen following the customer as guards lead her out of the centre.

One person dressed in blue then seemingly tries to grab the woman's arm.

She then suddenly stops, reaches into her jacket and pulls out a firearm, which she points at the protesters.

The EFF members can then be heard shouting, "Shoot! Shoot!".

All the people involved in the altercation were arrested and taken to the Walmer Park Police Station, said police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg.

At the police station, both parties refused to lay criminal charges against each other, Janse van Rensburg said.

She said the 52-year-old woman, who pointed the firearm, was the lawful owner of the weapon.

EFF Eastern Cape chairperson, Yazini Tetyana, said the party "enjoys irritating white people".

'We like that'

"That incident demonstrated that white people are irritated by the EFF and we like that. Our members were there for Clicks, but that woman got irritated and yelled at our members."

Tetyana added: "But what we didn't like is the attitude of the police, who got to the scene and handcuffed our member without getting the full details. They saw a scuffle between a white person and a black person, and concluded that our member started the fight.

"It was only after our member pointed out that the woman drew a firearm first that she was also arrested. We know such attitudes. Irritating white people will not end there."

PICS | Protesters use hammers to break to doors of Clicks branch

Asked to comment on Tetyana's accusations about the police, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said: "Both parties were taken to the police station."

Janse van Rensburg added: "Walmer SAPS responded to a complaint at Clicks Walmer Park. It appeared that a 52-year-old female was involved in an altercation with EFF supporters at the entrance to Clicks Walmer Park.

"The police subsequently removed the individuals involved in the altercation and transported them to Walmer SAPS. Upon their arrival at the police station, the parties all declined to lay charges.

"No arrests were affected and no cases are currently being investigated in the absence of any complainants," she said.

The incident happened at 10.30 on Tuesday, said Walmer Park Shopping Mall centre manager Leonie Scheepers.

Mall security and police remain on high alert, while the Clicks store is closed until further notice, said Scheepers.

Gathering

Scheepers said the altercation began after the elderly woman started filming a gathering of people in EFF T-shirts outside Clicks.

"Centre security personnel approached her and requested that she cease videoing. She ignored this request, and then confronted the person who appeared to be the leader of the group [EFF].  An altercation ensued. During the altercation, the customer took out a firearm and pointed it at the group."

The incident comes as cosmetic and health giant Clicks is battling a massive public backlash over a TRESemmé hair product advertisement, which appeared on its website describing black hair as "dry and damaged" and "frizzy and dull", while white hair was described as "fine and flat" and "normal".

Scheepers added that the centre security immediately diffused the situation and removed all parties, safely from the centre into the car park where they remained until the South African Police Services arrived on site shortly thereafter.

"The firearm was removed, and SAPS detained the customer and two EFF members. They were taken to the Walmer Police Station."

She added that the Walmer Park Shopping Centre does not permit the use or carrying of firearms or any other weapon of any kind on the private property.

"The health and safety of everyone visiting and working at the shopping centre remains our primary focus. Additional security has been placed within the Centre to monitor the situation," Scheepers added.

Despite a public apology from Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder over the "insensitive and offensive" advertisement, the EFF issued a directive to all its "ground forces" to "assist" Clicks to shut down from Monday until Friday.

On Tuesday, Ramsunder announced that Clicks would be delisting and removing all TRESemmé products from its shelves with immediate effect and will be replacing the gap with locally-sourced haircare brands. 

He revealed that, furthermore, Clicks would be engaging with all suppliers to enforce their ethical code of conduct.   

Apart from suspending all employees involved in publishing the recent offensive advertisement, Clicks has accepted the resignation of the senior executive responsible, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.    


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