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Malema promises to back up Moretele protesters

Jonisayi Maromo

EFF leader Julius Malema has told a crowd in Moretele to stop burning buildings but to continue protesting over a lack of services.

EFF leader Julius Malema has told a crowd in Moretele to stop burning buildings. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema scolded the police on Wednesday for shooting at protesters.

He told a crowd outside the Moretele local municipal offices in North West that no one would stop them from protesting. "I was told by EFF officials in North West that you would be marching. They said the officers here are used to killing people and we have come to join you so that they may kill us also," Malema said.

"North West police have started killing people again ... unfortunately today they are well behaved. We need officers who are behaved. Nobody will stop you from marching. If possible, march every day because there are no services."

Numerous police officers were at the entrance of the municipal offices as the EFF supporters marched to the municipal offices.

They congregated near the buildings and set up a public address system.

Malema said ANC-led municipalities had failed people and were employing their relatives and sexual partners. "These offices have been converted into bedrooms, half of the times people are sleeping in there. What they know is to throw parties and buy expensive cars. This is the time to change your votes. The ANC is an organisation of the black elite," he said.

'Take that T-shirt and scrub the floor'
"If you are a member of the ANC you should be ashamed because you are part of a group which failed our people. Take that T-shirt and use it to scrub the floor. If you use it as a night dress, you will have nightmares." 

Malema was introduced at the crowd as "the president of South Africa in waiting". He told the crowd to shun violence during protests, and said his party would help those who got arrested during strikes.

"If you are arrested, we will release you from prison. Those who need bail, we will pay for it. When you are released from jail, go back to the protest," Malema said.

"Let us direct our power to the enemy. Madiba [Nelson Mandela] gave you the power. Your vote is your power. Stop burning buildings, it's a waste of time."

Several members of the ANC peered out from inside the municipal premises as Malema addressed the crowd.

A throng in yellow T-shirts bearing President Jacob Zuma's image marched out of the premises, singing, as soon as Malema left the venue. A nearby supermarket shut its doors as protesters began to gather. – Sapa

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