National Shutdown: Police Arrest 5 Students in Braamfontein During EFF's "Peaceful Protest"

National Shutdown: Police Arrest 5 Students in Braamfontein During EFF's "Peaceful Protest"

  • A group of Economic Freedom Fighters members were at odds with the police in Braamfontein on Sunday night
  • At least five students who were part of a peaceful march were arrested after the police fired teargas to disperse the crowd
  • South Africans are wary about the protest and believe the EFF's planned national shutdown will not end well

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JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters members clashed with the police on Sunday night, 19 March, while holding a night vigil that was meant to be peaceful.

EFF protest in Braamfontein
Five students were arrested in Braamfontein during the EFF's peaceful march on Sunday, 20 March. Image: Alet Pretorius & Deaan Vivier
Source: Getty Images

At least five students who are part of the Red Berets were arrested in Braamfontein, Johannesburg CBD.

EFF says the night vigil in Braamfontein meant no harm

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi shared footage of the EFF's march on social media and stated that the protestors intended no harm and posed no threat.

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Ndlozi added that police officers violated the rights of the EFF members to protest peacefully.

The video shows the protestors from a distance with a few police vehicles on the ground. A few seconds into the video, protestors are heard screaming after several shots were fired.

According to TimesLIVE, it has been confirmed that the police used teargas to disperse the crowd. Police officers later cleared the roads of rubble and bricks.

EFF rejects deployment of SANDF members ahead of national shutdown

On Sunday, the EFF issued a statement condemning the deployment of the SANDF ahead of the planned national shutdown on Monday, 20 March.

According to SABC News, the Red Berets stated that the deployment of the army showed that the current government is bloodthirsty.

Read also

National shutdown: EFF protest picks up momentum across the country, with some businesses closing shop

"This act demonstrates the bloodthirsty nature of the current government and the intolerance of the ruling party to dissent and opposition," said the EFF.

South Africans say the EFF protests won't end well

@Limpooi17 said:

"This won’t end well, serious."

@Mmadikgosi_23 said:

"This will make protesters angry, when they retaliate, they will kill them."

@A_I_Mahlangu said:

"I’m not defending what the police did, but these people were closing major intersections and climbing on top of our cars in Braam earlier on, we had to make u-turns on a one-way road. If they were doing a peaceful march, it wouldn’t have gotten this far."

@DrXiga1 said:

"The order for the March was granted for tomorrow. Not for today, it is unlawful for them to gather this evening."

@Cedricme1icoud1 said:

"A march should have starting and ending times to avoid disruption of non-marchers."

@103sTaR103 said:

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'The Wife' actor Stoan Seate dragged for insulting EFF's national shutdown, star accused of benefiting from corruption

"I believe the protest was approved as of midnight until 7pm today. If they were out before then, then they are in violation of that order."

Cyril Ramaphosa: 3 400 SANDF members deployed to work with SAPS in preventing crime

Briefly News previously reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa is focusing on curbing crime in South Africa. He recently announced that about 3 474 members of the South African National Defence Force had been deployed.

President Ramaphosa informed National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and NCOP Chairperson Amos Masondo that the SANDF members had been deployed and would be on the streets from 17 March to 17 April.

According to TimesLIVE, the initiative dubbed Operation Prosper will cost the country R166 million. Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo confirmed the deployments aimed at maintaining and preserving law and order in South Africa.

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Source: Briefly News

Lebogang Mashego avatar

Lebogang Mashego (Current Affairs HOD) Lebogang Mashego runs the Current Affairs desk. She joined the Briefly News team in 2021. She has 6 years of experience in the journalism field. Her journalism career started while studying at Rhodes University, where she worked for the Oppidan Press for 3 years. She worked as a lifestyle writer and editor at W24 and Opera News. She graduated with a BA degree majoring in Journalism and Media Studies in 2017. She's a recipient of the INMA Elevate Scholarship. Email:

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