By Zukile Majova and Everson Luhanga

The first shots of the EFF’s national shutdown have been fired, as police clashed with protesters in multiple locations across the country on Sunday night.

Police fired shots and arrested protesters near to student residences in Braamfontein in Johannesburg on Sunday night.

Footage captured shows police firing bullets at students watching through the windows in apartment buildings in the city centre.

A large contingent of the SAPS swearing and manhandling young women was caught on video just three hours before the official start of the national shutdown.

Protests also started early in parts of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, the North West and other parts of Gauteng.

In Sebokeng, the Vaal, a small group of protesters barricaded Moshoeshoe Road with burning tyres, hours before the much anticipated national shutdown.

Despite the police massive efforts of confiscating tyres put strategically allegedly by protesters, there were scenes across the country where protesters blocked roads with burning tyres. 

Police on Sunday were seen loading tyres during the day in their big trucks which they suspected to be put alongside the roads by protesters. 

The EFF described the deployment of the army in black townships as resembling a military state.

“The current deployment of the army and law enforcement agencies, has surpassed that of the

Apartheid regime in the 1980’s during the State of Emergency.

“The scenes of military personnel descending into the townships of South Africa, police men

searching the homes and cars of citizens without warrants or just cause, and shutting down

tyre shops reveal a paranoid government that is capable of grave human rights violations,” the party said in a statement.

Exactly at midnight, Julius Malema tweeted a poster that read: “Now or never. We are on. 20 March 2023.”

In the accompanying caption, he wrote in Zulu: “Whether death is calling, death will find us ready; Whether prison is calling, prison will find us ready; Whether torture is coming, torture will find us ready.”

This is a developing story.

Pictured above: Police open fire at EFF protesters

Image source: Twitter


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