Malema reflects on the national shutdown

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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says the national shutdown was a success and there was never a reason for the heavy-handed security response by the security cluster. Malema was speaking to journalists at Winnie Madikizela Mandela House in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Malema says his party will take up the matter of the deployment of thousands of troops over the next month, in Parliament.

The national shutdown on Monday saw a heavy police presence countrywide as well as the deployment of over 3000 SANDF soldiers.

EFF’s National Shutdown draws mixed views:

Malema says government’s lack of intelligence capacity was exposed in its expectation that the EFF was determined to cause violence.

“There was a court order that instructed them to issue a court order they did before that Malema spoke in Soweto to EFF branches he spoke peace there was no gun throughout its mobilisation. We said peace must be the language. Why? We don’t want you to concentrate on the looting, we don’t want you to concentrate on the destruction of property, we want the message to remain clear and we did that and we did that successfully without destruction of property and without harming anyone,” says Malema.

The EFF leader says that the EFF will be questioning in Parliament the deployment of the soldiers and the length of time of the deployment.  He has hailed the national shutdown a resounding success despite the ANC’s Secretary General Fikile Mbalula on Wednedsay, labelling it a failure.

Malema detailed why he believes South Africans heeded the call to support a drive for the end of load shedding and the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Taxis, buses were all empty on the 20th of March all over South Africa. Load shedding was suspended due to a low level of demand for electricity supply. The low level of electricity was only possible due to the major operations of industry being suspended as a result of the national shutdown. It was not business as usual as the South African National Defence force and the police services were deployed in their numbers because they knew that the national shutdown was a just cause and they resorted to the armed forces to suppress a peaceful process,” Malema adds.

Malema says the shutdown has also shown citizens the direction the country must take after next year’s general elections, citing a call he received this week.

“A staunch member of the ANC who said I left the ANC I didn’t join any other political party because I had given up on all these political parties but what happened on the 20th made me realize that there is a now party to vote for, I have not yet decided to join but I have now decided who to vote for, this is what the EFF has done, reawakened those who were suffering from political apathy,” Malema elaborates.

VIDEO: EFF media briefing