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Protest successful; BLF attacked by Ramaphosa thugs, says Mngxitama

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The leader of Black First Land First (BLF), Andile Mngxitama, says a march by his organisation to the ANC’s headquarters in central Johannesburg on Monday, 5 January, was successful. Speaking to Political Analysis South Africa on Monday, Mngxitama said he appreciates the “courtesy that the Secretary General of the ANC showed by accepting our memorandum.”

Mngxitama says BLF is “very clear that the focus and energy of the leadership of the country and the ruling party should go to addressing the land question, poverty, unemployment, an untransformed economy, and not in organising coups to get rid of President Zuma, who has been the leader in the radical economic transformation project.”

Asked about the memorandum, Mngixtama, says it, among other things, calls on “Paul Mashatile to stop evicting our people.”

Mngxitama aslo went on to condemn the outbreak of violence at the protest, saying, “BLF members were attacked by Cyril Ramaphosa’s thugs, and a black woman, a mother, was kicked by these Rampahosa thugs in broad daylight. We condemn that because South Africa is a country that has a serious problem of gender-based violence and violence against women.”

According to Mngxitama, such “attacks show the leadership style of Ramaphosa and his supporters. We have not forgotten about Marikana. The Marikana massacre was created by Ramaphosa – we see the same in the incident that happened today. Defenceless, unarmed and peaceful protestors were attacked, viciously, by Ramaphosa’s thugs.”

Mngxitama says his organisation will be writing to the ANC expressing their displeasure of the violence directed at their members, and that they will also open “a criminal case to charge these thugs.”

He also chided ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s silence about the counter-protest, claiming, “Ramaphosa knew about the counter-protest, he knew about it, these thugs have been announcing it, and had organised this counter-protest in his name. He did not condemn it, he did not stop it, and we see from their behaviour that it is consistent with his own [Ramaphosa’s] response to the people of Marikana with violence. We believe it [the counter protest] was sanctioned by him [Ramaphosa], and that is why they had the courage to do what they did, in broad daylight, in front of cameras, because they believe they have the protection of Ramaphosa.”

Mgnxitama challenged Ramaphosa to come out and condemn the counter-protest by ANC members.

He also dismissed claims that Ace Magashule is serving interests that are contrary to the will of the ANC, or that Magashule is working in concert with BLF. For Mngxitama the “ANC is divided between those who want radical economic transformation – it is a not secret that Ace Magashule is one of those. We also know that Ramaphosa is for white monopoly capital, and so the people that went there, claiming to be defending Ramaphosa, were defending white monopoly capital. We must not pretend that they are no divisions.”

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