Juju makes a U-turn as police lie in wait
Julius Malema called off a scheduled trip to the Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg yesterday after receiving a tip-off that police were planning to arrest him.
This is the second time the expelled ANC Youth League president has been prevented by police from addressing mineworkers in North West.
Malema, released on bail on a money-laundering charge after a brief appearance in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Wednesday , made a U-turn a fter he was told police were waiting for him at the mine's No 8 shaft hostel . He was scheduled to address about 2000 mineworkers .
Although mineworkers at Implats are not on strike, Malema had announced after his court appearance he would visit the mine to urge mineworkers to fight for a R12500 a month salary .
In a text message believed to be from the Friends of the ANC Youth League, the organisation announced Malema would no longer address the meeting due to threats that he would be arrested.
"The event that was due to be addressed by President Julius Malema in Rustenburg at 15h00 has been postponed because it has come to our attention that members of the SA Police Service were instructed by a politician to arrest us, since the mineworkers and event organisers [had been] refused a permit to hold the meeting."
There was a heavy police presence at the hostel. Vehicles transporting workers from other shafts were stopped and searched.
North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane denied that an instruction had been issued to arrest Malema.
"I do not know about the searching of any cars to look for Mr Malema. I do not know that there was a meeting at the hostel," he said.
Asked if Malema would have required any permit to go address the workers, he said: "He would have had to apply for permission ... and an application can take up to seven days to get approved."
Ngubane said Malema would also need a permit to visit the hostel as it was private property.
He said according to the law, a gathering of more than 150 people was deemed illegal if permission was not requested.