Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Western Cape have called to their members to assemble in the city centre today for a peaceful protest against President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.

In a statement the party says they received a call from their national leadership to attend this year’s opening of Parliament in increased numbers.

“As committed, dedicated and “fear fokkol” fighters of our movement we must adhere to the call of our elected upper structure,” read the statement.

“This is solely to show 25 commissars of EFF in parliament that they have the backing of all fighters in the Western Cape in their noble quest to highlight the illegitimacy of Zuma and his ANC MP’s.”

Members have been urged to mobilise in their numbers to come to the city centre and meet on the corners of Adderly and Church Street near the party’s provincial offices.

The Provincial Chairperson, Bernard Joseph tells Independent Media they will be expecting between 2 000 to 3 000 members who will stage a peaceful protest at an area that will depend on the ‘mood’ of party supporters.

Joseph says the even though the party does not have permission to gather of march in the city centre that will not deter them. The City of Cape Town approved permission for three gatherings today, one for the African National Congress’ People Assembly at the Grand Parade and two others which includes 500 members from the National Union of Metal Workers as well as the South African Unintegrated Forces United.

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Last year police had to use stun grenades and water cannons to separate EFF and ANC supporters who clashed in the CBD, but Joseph says they are not worried about that this year.

“We don’t have permission for the gathering and we don’t need permission from anyone, this will be a peaceful protest against President Zuma’s address at an event where every South African has been invited to attend,” he says.

“We have a meeting point but the mood of the people of will dictate where we are going to end up. “We don’t want a Grande Parade People’s Assembly when the real people’s assembly will be at the National Assembly.

“We are not worried about the police, POPS [Public Order Police] and we are not even concerned about the SANDF. “The Constitution is very clear on situations where the army may be deployed and we are ready to defend that and ourselves against them if we have to.

“Among ourselves we will be having ex-soldiers so if we get force we can defend ourselves, soldier to soldier.” The EFF has been very critical of the deployment of over 400 soldiers by President Zuma to maintain law and order.

Did you know? The security around the parliamentary precinct today will cost the state just over R200 000.

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