EFF National Shutdown: Richards Bay
Targeting Economic Hub
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) targeted Richards Bay as one of the economic hubs during their national shutdown efforts in KwaZulu-Natal.
From 6 am to 10 am, a roadblock was set up at the John Ross Highway and Western Arterial Road junction by the South African Police Service (SAPS), Umhlathuze metro police, and private security. Workers still arrived at Transnet’s port via taxi and bus. Meanwhile, SANDF and private security monitored the Newmark Road entrance, and there was a heavy police presence on Harbour Arterial.
EFF Leaders Speak Out
During the 10 am to 12 pm window, EFF King Cetshwayo regional secretary Sabelo Khubisa spoke out to TimesLIVE. He shared that roads in Umtunzini are currently blocked, and he is planning to move to Esikhawini, waiting for protest action to clear from his original plans before heading to Richards Bay. However, Umhlathuze municipality spokesperson Bongani Gina denies any road closures, citing the region’s business as usual. There were moderate roadblocks in the morning, with personnel waiting for deployment should there be any problems.
Protests at the Boardwalk Mall
From 12 pm to 1 pm, a group of EFF members was dispersed by SAPS at the Boardwalk Mall. Law enforcement acted on information about taxi-loads of EFF members heading to the town, but a peaceful demonstration still occurred with heavy police, private security, and community policing forum presence. EFF members expressed that they had no starting or ending points while they were fighting for their forefathers’ land. Later on, the group would head to the police station.
Allegations of Assaults
Between 1 pm and 2 pm, around 25 EFF members, including Khubisa, walked to the police station under heavy police supervision. Allegations of assaults on EFF members by SAPS and private security over the weekend seemed to be the main issue, with leaders like Sibusiso Mthethwa stating this was the reason behind the protest. According to EFF member Sakhele Ngwane, a treasurer was run over by a police car last night in Umfolozi, serving as another reason the group was marching. There was no immediate response from the police on these claims of assaults.
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