WATCH | No one will stop us, let them try. They will meet their maker: Malema ahead of shutdown

Sisanda Mbolekwa Politics reporter

EFF leader Julius Malema slammed detractors denouncing the party's planned national shutdown and calling for him to be stopped, saying they were threatening his right to protest.

“I can tell you with ease. Let any boy or girl come and try to stop me. He will meet his maker. When he leaves in the morning, he must kiss his mother goodbye,” the red berets leader warned.

Malema took a swipe at Nhlanhla Lux, who vowed to protect the country, prevent the shutdown and be at president Cyril Ramaphosa's side.

“They wake up every day on social media to film themselves threatening me. Only when I start threatening violence, all of you will be having voices. If my right won't be defended by the media or law enforcement, I've got a legal obligation to defend myself and I will do it. I've got no time for boys. No one can take away my right to protest,” said Malema.

He was addressing a press conference ahead of the party's planned national shutdown scheduled for March 20. 

He also responded to the DA's plan to prevent the protest action, saying its fear of violence on Monday was baseless.

Why would you think there is going to be violence on the day if you are not the one planning the violence? The DA knows they are going to deploy forces and agent provocateurs to interfere. But we are very vigilant and ready for their people on that day.”

Malema assured that essential service workers would be protected and have access to their workplaces.

“That includes police, nurses, health workers. Our structures will be co-operative and will make sure that all clinics and hospitals are functional.”

He emphasised that the protest would be in line with the National Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) strike, adding that the party would not be used to fight union battles.

The red berets' leader said the EFF held a courtesy meeting with the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) to inform the organisation there would be protesters on the road and taxi drivers should take that into consideration. 

“We told them that there shouldn't be unnecessary conflict and confrontation between ourselves and the taxis because we all belong to the same class. To have the working class fighting each other is to please capital and it does not benefit either of us,” said Malema.

The EFF leader added that there would be no starting or end point for the demonstration.

“Fighters, wherever they are, are just going to gather and protest. It's as simple as that, it doesn't have transport or a route. The same way they protest in their communities, they will protest like that on that day. It's a protest, not a march. It does not have a formula.

“If the Union Buildings is such a centre, then we will meet there. The branch of the EFF in that area must make sure they embark on an activity that demonstrates they must be heard.

“If they feel they must be heard at the stock exchange, they must go and occupy and protest there to show white capital that as they grow their shares and monies, a lot of people are being left behind. If they can go to parliament or a legislature or council, a harbour or the border gates, anywhere where we can go, let's go,” said Malema. 

“Fighters, conduct yourself peacefully, but do not tolerate nonsense from anyone. It does not matter who they are. Protect yourselves,” he urged.


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