South Africa: Julius Malema's EFF calls for a dead city day
Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF. (Illustrative image) AFP - LUCA SOLA
Text by: RFI Follow
The radical left-wing party Fighters for Economic Freedom, the EFF, the country's third largest party and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is calling for a dead day on Monday (March 20th). Their leader, Julius Malema, wants to protest against the recurrent power cuts and demand the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa. A day under tension, since the release of a video where activists encourage businesses to close, "to avoid looting".
With our correspondent in Johannesburg, Claire Bargelès
The EFF and its activists in the red berets did not specify the targeted locations, nor the types of actions, so as not to give any indications to the police. The party's leader, Julius Malema, calls for the right to demonstrate, while remaining rather evasive about the risk of violence. "We don't want to loot shops. Whether you open or not, that's your problem, but don't then blame the EFF if things happen to you on Monday. You have been warned.»
The security forces are in any case on the alert, while the memory of the riots of 2021 is still alive.
A court also authorized the protests, while prohibiting incitement to violence and intimidation attempts. And President Cyril Ramaphosa also warned against excesses: "The right to protest is enshrined in our Constitution, and it is a right that all of us South Africans have fought for. But it is not an absolute right, and the law enforcement of our country will be there to defend the citizens.»
This coup by the EFF could also be a flop, while the powerful taxi drivers' union has already announced that it will not participate. But the party will be able to count on the fact that many schools and businesses will be closed anyway on Monday, since many South Africans make the bridge until Tuesday, a public holiday in the country.
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