Malema: arrest me if you want
17 September 2012 | STEVEN TAU
JOHANNESBURG - These were the words of a defiant Julius Malema after police barred him from attending a meeting with striking workers at the Wonderkop stadium in Marikana yesterday.
Pandemonium almost erupted when an officer ordered Malema to leave. “I’m not allowed to attend a public meeting, I was invited to,” Malema said.
“I did not know that one is inciting violence by attending a public meeting,” he said.
A police officer then said: “Mr Malema, I don’t want to arrest you, but if you don’t comply I’m going to take action.”
Malema and his bodyguards continued walking towards an open space next to the informal settlement, but police kept following him, with a South African Police Service helicopter circling above.
Eventually Malema was forced into his car after he almost charged at a police officer who apparently threatened to shoot at him.
The police, some in nyalas, drove behind Malema’s vehicle until it had left Marikana.
Local residents, including some of the striking workers, showed their dissatisfaction by pelting a police vehicle with stones.
“Why don’t you want Malema to come and address us? He is not here for you,” worker Edward Madiabo said. Workers who had converged on the stadium continued chanting slogans calling for President Jacob Zuma not to think about a second term.
n Meanwhile, residents of the Wonderkop informal settlement near the mine told The Citizen that they are living in fear after Saturday’s raid by the police.
According to residents, police also used rubber bullets to disperse a group of striking workers who were gathered near the hilltop.
Nozuko Lubelo, a mother of six, said: “These police just came into the informal settlement and started kicking our doors, forcing us to lie down, claiming that they were searching for dangerous weapons. Such actions are like what happened during the apartheid years,” she said.
Lubelo said she, like many other residents, felt it was time for change in the country’s leadership.
“We voted Zuma into power, and now he is treating us bad. Come the end of Mangaung, we want change… Zuma and his friends must just go because we are tired of being treated like we are non-South Africans.”
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