Byline:Nonjabuliso Nhlambo

25 March 2023

On Monday 20th of March 2023 the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) took to the streets for their National shutdown, protesting the energy crisis in South Africa and also demanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa steps down.

In Kinross taxies were operating as normal however the EFF members marched from the Afghanistan parts of Kinross escorted by the members of the South African police also trying to prevent possible looting from the streets. This form of peaceful demonstration went on until Kinross town where the crowd made a U-turn back to the location whilst singing and chanting liberation songs.

Sphesihle Mazibuko the secretary of ward 16 in Kinross outlined the purpose of the demonstration as a sign to Ramaphosa to step down as there are no job opportunities for the youth, water and the current ongoing energy crisis.

In Leandra R50 road was closed by protesters leaving motorist with only the R29 for use. Things took a turn during the afternoon hours when the Police set out warning shots for the ungoverned crowd who were roaming the streets of Lebohang as the members retaliated back by throwing stones at the police struck.

In eMbalenhle began the National Shutdown strike at midnight. Their main aim was to protest against the ongoing electricity crisis and demand that Ramaphosa steps down as President of the Republic of South Africa. In the previous week, the media was bombarded by statements from different government departments, the opposition and the President regarding the ensuing national shutdown strike.

It was with great distress that the red-bereted members from Govan Mbeki Municipality were met with acts of violence from the Police as well as Vukta members in eMbalenhle.

According to the General Secretary of EFF in Gert Sibande District, Comrade W.E Chauke, said that their strike was peaceful and initially planned.

The trouble started when they were at eMbalenhle Traffic Circle headed towards Bracken Mine when they were ambushed by taxi driver and police who violently assaulted them with fists and opened hands with another member who was gravely injured as he was brutally kicked in his ribs. Chauke said the members even drew guns at them as an act of intimidation to stop them from picketing and they had to dodge bullets by running to near bushes.

The EFF General Secretary feels that members of the public did not respond as anticipated due to the acts of intimidation by the state as well as the local taxi association which is led by thugs. Residents stated that due to the deployment and visibility of police officials, it is possible for police officers to combat crime, the only problem is that the country is led by incompetent leaders who only perform their duties when them and not on the people.

“From last night, they were police officers everywhere in such a manner that we have never seen that much visibility since the level 5 Covid-19 lockdown,” said Thabiso from the EFF.