ANC Youth League 'economic freedom' mass action: LIVE 27 October

27 October 2011 - 11:24 By Amukelani Chauke, Times LIVE and Sapa

The last leg of an ANC Youth League "economic freedom" march is underway this evening, with scattered groups peacefully continuing the walk from Johannesburg to Pretoria.

Others followed in hundreds of buses and minibus taxis, with registration numbers from various provinces. Several ambulances were also part of the procession.

A large police contingent was waiting for their arrival at the Caledonian stadium in Pretoria. By 8.30pm, African National Congress Youth League members were on the R101 Old Pretoria Road in Midrand.

 

LEAGUE MARCHES ON MARLBORO DRIVE

The ANC Youth League march was heading along Marlboro Drive in Sandton, Johannesburg this evening.

Scattered groups were marching quietly in the dark at 7pm, with around 50km to go to Pretoria.

Johannesburg metro police cars followed with flashing blue lights, while police armed with R5 rifles ensured no marchers could get onto the M1 North highway.

Traffic along Katherine Street was backed up. The walkers were followed by a large number of buses and minibus taxis. Some of those on foot made for the buses, hoping for a ride.

Walkers who reached a bridge going over the M1 stopped for a rest and water was handed out to them. They began to sing.

The league's plan was to walk to Pretoria, where a night vigil was expected to be held. The group intended converging on the Union Buildings on Friday.

The ANC Youth League and its marchers passed the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, where league president Julius Malema addressed the crowd.

ANCYL MARCHERS STOP IN KILLARNEY

The ANC Youth League's march for economic freedom stopped in Killarney, northern Johannesburg, to wait for a water tanker on Thursday afternoon.

Marchers were dehydrated and some people had fainted, metro police spokesman Edna Mamonyane said.

She estimated there were more than 5000 people making their way from the Johannesburg CBD to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton.

Flora Nkwinika, 56, from Alexandra, sat on the pavement with 10 other older women waiting for the march to resume.

The mother of seven looked tired, but said she would continue walking to Pretoria.

"My children are grown up but they are not working because of the scarcity of jobs in this country," she said.

"I hope that this march will change their lives forever... that they get jobs and financial aid from the government to start businesses."

She had been living in a shack in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, since 1990.

At least five people, one of them a man on crutches, were sitting on the back of a truck.

Mamonyane said they were all dehydrated.

The marchers sang and danced when they set off from the CBD earlier in the day.

However, by the time they reached Killarney they were shuffling along quietly in the heat, led by a formation of police cars, four Casspirs and a water cannon.

Youth League leader Julius Malema had alternated between walking and riding in a van playing music, before the crowd stopped.

Onlookers from houses and businesses came out to try to catch a glimpse of Malema, while children from the Parktown Convent cheered him from within the school grounds.

Marshals placed bottles of water along the pavement for the crowd.

Gauteng police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said the march had been peaceful so far.

"There have been no disruptions since the march started. Everything is peaceful."

Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Gwen Lane in Sandton, where the marchers were headed, was prepared.

Its underground parking entrances were sealed off with railing gates wrapped in black plastic, while police in bakkies waited at the end of Gwen Lane.

One entrance to the road had been blocked off with gates.

Nedbank on West Street had its own security officers outside, while security company members in military-style uniforms wandered around with dogs.

Barbed wire had been placed outside the Protea Hotel Balalaika, which is situated opposite the JSE.

MORE PTA ROAD CLOSURES FOR ANCYL (sapa 14:43)

More roads than initially planned would be closed in Pretoria for an ANC Youth League night vigil on Thursday and a march on Friday, Tshwane metro police said.

Pretorius Street will be closed to traffic, between Beatrix Street and Nelson Mandela Drive, from 6pm on Thursday to 11am on Friday, said spokesman Console Tleane in a statement.

"This is to ensure that there is no traffic in front of the Caledonian Stadium, where the Youth League is expected to hold its (night) vigil."

Motorists coming into the CBD via Pretorius Street would have to either turn right into Beatrix Street or turn left earlier at Hamilton Street to join other streets into the CBD.

One lane on Schoeman Street, between Nelson Mandela Drive and Beatrix Street, would be closed from 6pm on Thursday until 10am on Friday.

"This is in order to allow buses carrying the marchers to drop them off," said Tleane.

On Friday, Pretorius Street would be closed between Hamilton Street and Nelson Mandela Drive from 5am to 10am.

"The Metro Police will monitor the situation and might be flexible by opening the roads, depending on need and whether there won't be any movements at particular times," he said.

ANCYL SHOW HEADS TO SANDTON (sapa 14:22)

The ANC Youth League's march for economic freedom made its way past the Killarney suburb in northern Johannesburg after 2pm on Thursday.

The crowd of thousands heading to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton was led by league president Julius Malema who alternated between walking and riding in a van.

Marshals shoved journalists around, while workers came out of offices to watch the peaceful march.

The Democratic Alliance said it was disturbed by reports that the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) had forced pupils from Alexandra and Soweto schools to join the march.

"The DA is appealing to the Gauteng education department ... and ANCYL leadership to respect the right of learners to attend school without political disruptions," DA spokesman Khume Ramulifho said in a statement.

"It is a critical time for students in Gauteng as many learners are writing final exams."

The SABC reported earlier that all high schools in Alexandra were empty after community members forced pupils from their classes.

Schooling was also disrupted in Soweto and on the East Rand, with some schools virtually empty, the report said.

The Freedom Front Plus Youth said the march was not the answer to South Africa's problems.

"The ANC Youth League's march for so-called economic freedom does not offer solutions for South Africa's current poverty and unemployment," spokesman Wouter Wessels in a statement.

"If the ANCYL wants to rashly continue, their supporters will in the near future be running through the streets due to total impoverishment, a further increase in unemployment and hunger."

Wessels called the march a "survival tactic" for Malema.

"Malema, in the midst of his disciplinary hearing, wants to prove to the ANC leadership that he enjoys huge support and can successfully mobilise the youth. The participants in these marches have been misled," he said.

CHAMBER WILL APPLY MINDS: CEO (sapa 13:18)

The Chamber of Mines says it will apply its mind to the content of a memorandum delivered on Thursday by marching ANC Youth League members.

"We understand that the level of unemployment is too high and we agree with the youth league that the level of poverty is too high," the chambers chief executive Bheki Sibiya told reporters in Johannesburg.

"We will distribute it [memorandum] to our 55 members."

He said the Chamber of Mines would engage with its members on the ANCYL's demands. The chamber had asked the ANCYL for a meeting four weeks before the march but the league did not respond.

"It cannot be a monologue, it must be a dialogue," said Sibiya.

The league was demanding the nationalisation of mines and the introduction of probation programmes within companies to give youth skills in mining.

The memorandum calls for better wages for mine workers and the active involvement of mining companies in the development of the industry.

Although the chamber of mines agreed with the ANCYL's objectives to reduce poverty and inequality, it did not agree with nationalisation as it would severely damage the economic performance of the country and leave the population in a worse state than before, said Sibiya.

The youth league embarked on its "economic freedom youth mass action" march on Thursday.

Members were marching from Beyers Naude square to the Chamber of Mines, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Union Buildings.

ALEX PUPILS FORCED FROM CLASSES: REPORT (sapa 13:06)

Alexandra high school pupils were reportedly forced from classrooms to join the ANC Youth League's "economic freedom" march in Gauteng on Thursday.

The SABC reports all high schools in the informal settlement were empty after community members forced pupils from their classes.

Schooling was also disrupted in Soweto and on the East Rand, with some schools virtually empty.

The public broadcaster said pupils were roaming the streets, angry that classes were disrupted during their exams.

This despite ANCYL's call for discipline throughout the youth march.

At midday on Thursday thousands of league supporters began their "economic freedom" march to the Chamber of Mines in central Johannesburg.

This happened soon after league president Julius Malema addressed the crowd at Beyers Naude Square were they had gathered since the early hours of Thursday morning.

Malema urged supporters to exercise maximum discipline throughout their "long walk to economic freedom".

"Take your time and walk. we have the whole day and night. You must not run," he said.

"If you have a bottle of water, you must share it with your fellow people. We [the leadership] are coming to march with you because we are all from poor backgrounds."

The next stop of the march is the Stock Exchange in Sandton -- and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings on Friday.

from the ANCYL 13:15

Memorandum to Chamber of Mines—27 October 2011

We, the youth of South Africa, the unemployed, marginalised, homeless, the economically downtrodden, and all of us who wish to have access to quality free education, housing, electricity, and sustainable livelihoods demand urgent economic freedom in our lifetime. Economic freedom in our lifetime means total achievement of Freedom Charter objectives, particularly on the transfer of wealth to the ownership of the people as a whole.

The Chamber of Mines is a recipient of Economic Freedom Mass Action because of its role in the history of racialised economic development of South Africa. This includes, but not limited to development of an exclusively white mining capital with massive influence and contribution to legislation that subjugated, excluded, oppressed and super-exploited blacks and Africans in the entire Mining value.

We come here as Economic Freedom Fighters carrying the burden of the millions of the economically excluded, subjugated, oppressed, exploited and depressed South Africans in the Economic Freedom Mass Action under the leadership of the ANC Youth League to make the following demands:

To the Chamber of Mines we demand the following:

   1.  Nationalisation of South Africa’s Mines. The State should own and control a minimum of 60% of South Africa’s Mines.

   2.  Local beneficiation and industrialisation of a minimum of 60% of the minerals extracted from beneath South Africa’s soil. The beneficiation should happen in the communities where Mining happens.

   3.  Provision of education, skills and expertise to South African youth in order to capacitate them to play a meaningful role in the entire mining value-chain.

   4.  Betterment of working conditions in all Mines to prevent avoidable fatalities and diseases.

   5.  Better salaries and wages for all Mineworkers, and provision of full employment for workers currently employed as contract workers.

   6.  An end to import-parity pricing on the South Africa minerals to boast the manufacturing, industrialisation and infrastructure development.

Active involvement of Mining corporations in the development of Mining communities, particularly on the construction and maintenance of roads, health facilities, schools, technical training colleges, and other public infrastructure.

   8.  Local manufacturing of supplies and other necessities required for mining, including beneficiation and industrialisation.

   9.  Development of a concrete social and labour development model, which will ensure that communities around the Mines are developed out of the proceeds of Mining,

   10.  Re-alignment of South Africa’s Industrial Policy and action plan around to consider the reality that the State will be in control and ownership of Mines and mineral resources, so as to guide a concrete plan on minerals’ beneficiation and industrialisation.

   11.  Amendment of Section 25 of South Africa’s Constitution to empower the State to expropriate in the public interest with or without compensation. 

   12.  Cessation of threats of disinvestment by Mining Capital.

   13.  Compensation of Mining communities that continue to suffer diseases and infections as a result of Mining and minerals’ extraction, particularly the asbestos communities.

We expect urgent action plans and programmes on these demands, on the view that non concession to these demands will lead to social instability due to continued economic exclusion of the black majority and Africans in particular. We will never allow Mining business to continue to extract and massively benefit from South Africa’s minerals whilst our communities are left with diseases, deeper poverty and degradation of infrastructure, rivers and environment.

These demands are genuine and should be acceded to with immediate effect, because we cannot afford to wait any longer.

Signed by the Chamber of Mines______________________________________________

Signed by the ANC Youth League______________________________________________

Issued by the ANC Youth League

SIGN NOW: MALEMA (sapa 13:05)

Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya accepted a memorandum of grievances from marching ANC Youth League members on Thursday afternoon.

ANCYL deputy president Ranold Lamola read out the grievances contained in the memorandum before handing it over to Sibiya.

Sibiya told thousands of supporters that the chamber will reply to their grievances within five days.

ANCYL president Julius Malema told supporters that Sibiya was the face of white capital.

"He is our brother but he himself doesn't have a mine." he said,

"Sign now, peacefully. There is no blood on the floor. To prevent the blood, our demands must be met."

The chamber hung a giant banner outside its' offices that read: "unemployment is too high. Poverty is too high. Equality is too high. We must co-operate with you to achieve economic freedom in our lifetime."

ANCYL supporters began their "economic freedom" march to the Chamber of Mines at noon, after delays due to transport.

The league was demanding the nationalisation of mines and the introduction of probation programmes within companies to give youth skills in mining.

The memorandum calls for better wages for mine workers and the active involvement of mining companies in the development of the industry.

Lamola said the league wanted the industry to be regulated to avoid the spread of diseases such as asbestosis.

He said the chamber must respond "with immediate effect".

Sibiya said: "We agree with you that unemployment is too high, poverty is too high, inequality is too high, and we must co-operate with you to achieve economic freedom in our lifetime."

He committed to giving a response to the memorandum within five working days.

The peaceful crowd spent around 20 minutes outside the chamber's office before heading to Sandton.

The march began soon after Malema addressed the crowd at Beyers Naude Square were they had gathered since the early hours of Thursday morning.

Malema urged supporters to exercise maximum discipline throughout their "long walk to economic freedom".

The next stop of the march is the Stock Exchange in Sandton -- and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march to the Union Buildings on Friday.

"Take your time and walk. we have the whole day and night. You must not run," said Malema.

"If you have a bottle of water, you must share it with your fellow people. We [the leadership] are coming to march with you because we are all from poor backgrounds."

Police maintained a heavy presence.

1330

via twitter @TrafficSA JHB - #ancylmarch march has left Chamber of Mines, exit roads closed as march leaves CBD along Smit, Rissik, Joubert and Victoria Ave

ANCYL MARCH BEGINS (sapa 12:27)

Thousands of ANC Youth League supporters began their "economic freedom" marching to the Chamber of Mines in central Johannesburg on Thursday.

This happened soon after league president Julius Malema addressed the crowd at Beyers Naude Square were they had gathered since the early hours of Thursday morning.

Malema urged supporters to exercise maximum discipline throughout their "long walk to economic freedom".

"Take your time and walk. we have the whole day and night. You must not run," he said.

"If you have a bottle of water, you must share it with your fellow people. We [the leadership] are coming to march with you because we are all from poor backgrounds."

The next stop of the march is the Stock Exchange in Sandton -- and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings on Friday.

SANGOMAS BLESS ANCYL MARCH (sapa 12:12)

About 30 traditional healers performed a ritual at the Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg, where ANC Youth League members gathered on Thursday for a mass march.

They sat on a traditional carpet, beating drums and drinking umqombothi (traditional beer) from a calabash, while talking to the ancestors.

The healers pleaded with the ancestors to make the "economic freedom" march a success and for government to listen to the youth's grievances.

Alisa Makama, 68, said she was happy that the Traditional Healers Association of SA received an invitation to the march, which she strongly supported.

"This gives us a platform to change people's views about us. Hopefully people will stop criticising us and calling us witches," she said.

She arrived in the morning all the way from Katlehong, east of Johannesburg.

Makama was supported by 53-year-old Regina Sithole who said she hoped the government would help traditional healers financially.

"I wish the government can also help us financially, so that we expand our businesses of healing the people," said Sithole.

The two women said while they would not be marching with youth league members due to the health concerns, they fully supported the march.

Supporters from various provinces were expected to march from Beyers Naude Square to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton -- and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings on Friday.

The march was delayed on Thursday due to transport problems.

The ANCYL issued a statement saying the march would only start at noon.

"Thousands of our people were not yet picked up by taxis all over the country, particularly in Gauteng," said league spokesman Floyd Shivambu.

1200: ANCYL leader Julius Malema has been addressing the crowd at the start of the march in the Johannesburg CBD. He's kitted out in a T-shirt, tracksuit pants and running shoes.

ANCYL MARCH DELAYED (Sapa 1120)

The ANC Youth League march was delayed on Thursday morning as some members were still to arrive at Beyers Naude Square, in Johannesburg.

The league's deputy president, Ronald Lamola, told hundreds of people who had already gathered at the square that there were transport problems.

"Do not fear, the leadership is here. There are many hurdles of getting comrades to arrive here in Johannesburg," said Lamola.

He had shouted "Viva Gaddafi" just before addressing the crowd from the back of a bakkie.

On Monday, ANCYL president Julius Malema told reporters that bus drivers withdrew after they were intimidated. He said the league had sourced taxis for the march.

On Thursday, another league official, Dodo Mushwana, warned members against agents from the National Intelligence Agency who were deployed "to make us fight one another".

He urged league members to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner and to only use posters endorsed by the league's national executive committee.

He took a swipe at police minister and ANC NEC member Nathi Mthethwa, who raised concerns over the march to demand nationalisation and the employment for young people.

"These comrades think that they will march to the Union Buildings and things will change. It is a lie that we need to debunk," Mthethwa told delegates at a Sadtu provincial conference in Durban on Thursday.

He said the ANCYL was playing on the feelings of people who were really poor.

Said Mushwana: "Nathi Mthethwa has forgotten that he was part of this. He must remember that he used to be part of these marches."

Supporters from various provinces were expected to march from Beyers Naude Square to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, and then to Pretoria, where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings on Friday.

Scores of people, some of them wearing ANCYL T-shirts and berets, started gathering at the square as early as 5am. Others spend the night in their buses parked at the square.

One vendor was hoping to make a quick buck by selling Malema's iconic beret.

"You are here for him, you must be like him," he said.

Earlier, a group of supporters started marching around the block in-between traffic but were stopped by police and told to march only at the square.

They were in an upbeat mood, singing and chanting revolutionary songs, including the controversial Dubul'ibhunu (shoot the boer) chant, which has been declared hate speech by a court.

Marchers also sang "Siyaya phambili noma besidubula" (we are going forward even though they shoot at us).

Some of the placards carried by marchers read: "The real freedom is economic not parliamentary. Fee my people."

Another with slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's picture read: "We salute anti-imperialist martyr Gaddafi", "90 percent of the economy is still in the hands of the minority" and "Malema we must stand by you through thick and thin".

Police and a private security company hired by the youth league continued monitoring the situation.

ANCYL statement 1107

ANC YOUTH LEAGUE ECONOMIC FREEDOM MASS ACTION DELAYED DUE TO TRANSPORT:

27 October 2011

The ANC Youth League Economic Freedom Mass Action will proceed from Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg from 12H00. With the number of taxies that have arrived the ANC Youth League is satisfied that it has reached its targeted number of +- 5000 people and many more are still arriving.  The delays happened due to the fact that thousands of our people were not yet picked up by taxis all over the country, particularly in Gauteng .The challenge of transport delays is being resolved and people are on their way to Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg.

Many young people have displayed their commitment to the Economic Freedom Mass Action by coming to the mass action through their own means and the taxis provided. We have received unbelievable inquiries from thousands young people across the country inquiring about transport. Thousands of young people are waiting in train stations, bus terminals and pick-up points across the country, patiently waiting for transport to take them to the Mass Action.

We have also received messages of support from all over Africa and the world telling us to soldier on the struggle for economic freedom as they believe the economic liberation of majority of South Africans is directly linked to African continent economic liberation.

The demands for economic freedom in our lifetime and the memorandums to the Chamber of Mines and Johannesburg Stock of Exchange will be released to members of the media and public immediately after handover.

UPDATED: ANCYL SUPPORTERS GATHER FOR MARCH (Sapa 1000)

Scores of ANC Youth League supporters from various provinces started gathering at Beyers Naude Square, in central Johannesburg, on Thursday morning, ahead of an "economic freedom youth mass action" march.

The group was in an upbeat mood, singing and chanting revolutionary songs, including the controversial Dubul'ibhunu (shoot the boer) chant, which has been declared hate speech by a court.

Marchers also sang "Siyaya phambili noma besidubula" (we are going forward even though they shoot at us).

The gloomy weather with its threat of rain was worrying some protesters, but many were adamant they would continue with the march.

An 18-year-old youth, Karen Sako from ANCYL leader Julius Malema's hometown in Seshego in Limpopo, said the trip was worth it because it could help improve their lives.

"I did not sleep last night (Wednesday). I was singing with my fellow comrades throughout the night because I believe Malema has what it takes to change the lives of the youth for the better," said Sako.

"I hope my participation in this march will help me get a job."

Others who spent the night on a bus like Sako, were Phuso Mtshwana from the Northern Cape and Thabo Machaka from Limpopo.

Mtshwana said he and other unemployed youth arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday night and were looking forward to the march.

"I will march all the way to Pretoria today (Thursday). I am here because of the promises of the president (Jacob Zuma)," he said.

Machaka, who had been waiting at the square since 5am, seemed unsure when asked about his reason for joining the march.

"I want a job," he said hesitantly.

Supporters were expected to march from Beyers Naude Square to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton --and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings on Friday.

Amidst the blowing of vuvuzelas, loud music could be heard from a sound system at the back of a carrier truck expected to lead the marchers.

Prisoners rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu was wrapped in chains as he led another small group of protesters toyi-toying around the square.

Bhudu held a placard with the words: "ANCYL is spot-on [about] land expropriation and nationalisation of the mine".

A chained Bhudu also attended Malema's disciplinary hearing at Luthuli House last month. That gathering turned violent and the crowd pelted police, reporters and onlookers with debris including half-bricks.

Malema supporters also burnt ANC flags and t-shirts with pictures of ANC president Zuma printed on them.

On Thursday, a large police and metro police contingent was keeping a close eye on the situation at the square. Security personnel included a private security company hired by the City of Johannesburg .

Traffic disruptions were expected due to road closures around the city and through to Rosebank and Sandton on Thursday.

Youth league officials walked around handing out reflective vests to protesters and the media.

ANC Youth League website

via twitter

@TrafficSA JHB - #ancylmarch ROAD CLOSURES when the march exits central JHB include Smit, Rissik, Joubert and Victoria Avenue to Oxford Road

@TrafficSA
JHB - CBD, ROAD CLOSURES: Marshall, Market, Sauer, Simmonds, President, Pritchard and both Nelson Mandela and QE11 bridges #ancylmarch

ANCYL SUPPORTERS GATHER FOR MARCH (sapa 09:15)

Scores of ANC Youth League supporters from various provinces started gathering at Beyers Naude Square in central Johannesburg on Thursday morning, ahead of an "economic freedom youth mass action" march.

The group was in an upbeat mood, singing and chanting revolutionary songs, including the controversial Dubul'ibhunu (shoot the boer) chant. Marchers also sang "Siyaya phambili noma besidubula" (we are going forward even though they shoot at us).

The gloomy weather was worrying some protesters, but many were adamant they would continue with the march.

Prisoners rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu was wrapped in chains as he led another small group of protesters.

Bhudu held a placard with the words: "ANCYL is spot-on [about] land expropriation and nationalisation of the mine".

A chained Bhudu also attended ANCYL leader Julius Malema's disciplinary hearing at Luthuli House last month. That gathering turned violent and the crowd pelted police, reporters and onlookers with debris including half-bricks. Malema supporters also burnt ANC flags and t-shirts with pictures of ANC President Jacob Zuma printed on them.

On Thursday, a large police and metro police contingent was keeping a close eye on the situation at the square. Security personnel included a private security company hired by the City of Johannesburg .

Youth league members were expected to march from Beyers Naude Square to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton -- and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings on Friday.

Traffic disruptions were expected due to road closures around the city and through to Rosebank and Sandton on Thursday.

Youth league officials walked around handing out reflective vests to protesters and the media.

Gauteng provincial police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said there would be a zero tolerance approach to all lawlessness, including drinking in public, indecent acts, contravention of municipal by-laws, looting, damage to property and any other criminal activity.

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