EFF arrives to greet freed ‘black power’ protesters in Stellenbosch

Police grapple with a protester in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch, on Wednesday.
Image: Esa Alexander

Five people arrested during a protests in Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape, on Wednesday were freed on bail on Thursday.

Outside the Stellenbosch magistrate’s court waited the Cape Town metro’s EFF leadership, representing the first parliamentary political party to support the #JozitoStellenbosch movement.

The PAC pledged its support to the group on Wednesday when it embarked on a campaign to rid Stellenbosch of “white settlers” and “take back the land”.

One of their leaders, Mangaliso Sambo, addressed about 60 supporters outside court after the release of the protesters.

Starting his speech with his signature clarion call, “Black power – no sharing!”, Sambo made statements against white Afrikaners, Zionists and white English-speakers.

Cape Metro EFF leader Mbulelo Dwane said the party stood behind the movement.

“We are not part of the #JozitoStellenbosch programme but we fully support them,” he said.

“We are in solidarity with them, we stand with them, everything they do we fully support them.”

An interim Cape Town high court interdict obtained by the Stellenbosch municipality on Wednesday afternoon ordered the group to remove hateful content from its Facebook page.

On Thursday, a video on the group’s page showing Sambo and other leaders addressing residents of Azania informal settlement, outside Stellenbosch, was removed.

In it, Sambo said: “Only when white people are dead shall we cease fire.”

Asked whether the EFF endorsed this statement, Dwane said: “There’s no one who wants to kill white people. However, if white people react to us with violence, we will react with violence as well.”

Sambo also lashed out at news broadcaster eNCA, referring to it as “a known peddler of propaganda”.

A small group of stone-throwing protesters targeted journalists in Kayamandi on Wednesday after an eNCA crew were accused of being owned by “white monopoly capital” during an interview with protest leaders.

Sambo said the stones were not directed at eNCA journalists but rather at “Koos Bekker” and “Naspers”, which he incorrectly said owned the outlet.

“We are not peddling eNCA with stones. We are fighting the founders of Naspers, so we are not fighting journalists; eNCA is a known peddler of propaganda for white monopoly capital, it was solely made for that duty.”

Sambo also claimed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was trying to censor the group’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

“We are seeing now that the entire global monopoly is picking up. We know that Mark Zuckerberg owns both Facebook and Twitter, so when we are seeing our accounts being closed on Twitter and Facebook, we know who’s closing them. There’s only one man who is in charge of our database,” he said.

He said they were being prevented from “bombarding our people with black consciousness, with Africanism, with nationalism”.

The group’s lawyer Teboho Sebogodi said he was representing the protesters on a pro bono basis and they had been charged under the Disaster Management Act.

Sebogodi addressed the crowd outside court and told them to walk back to Kayamandi in compliance with lockdown regulations.

“Walk two-by-two and observe social distancing, go back home and go back to the drawing board, be smart about it,” he said – but the group decided to march back to Kayamandi.

BY ARON HYMAN

 

 

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