Thousands of so-called Economic Freedom Fighters in pursuit of economic justice march through South Africa’s richest square mile, the latest sign of anti-government dissent, as South Africans vent frustration over high unemployment and political corruption. Mana Rabiee reports.
Protesters bring Johannesburg to standstill
They call themselves the Economic Freedom Fighters, and they were marching through Johannesburg’s wealthy business district to demand economic justice.
The EFF’s leader is Julius Malema.
He accuses President Jacob Zuma and his ruling ANC party of creating a rich, black political elite that’s allowed most of South Africa’s wealth to stay in the hands of the white minority… this, 20 years after the end of apartheid.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS, JULIUS MALEMA, SAYING:
“We are not here because we have nothing to do. We are pained by poverty. We see you guys continuing to eat to the exclusion of black majority and we came here to conscientise you peacefully, that we see what you are doing. Please open up, let everybody have a slice of this cake.”
The protesters handed a list of demands to the CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Among other things, they want 51 percent of all listed companies to be owned by workers.
The movement took just 6 percent of votes in a national election last year… but it hopes to use the momentum of student protests last week to build support for its cause ahead of municipal elections next year.