Presidency Vows Govt Didn’t Sabotage EFF’s Shutdown by Blocking Transnat Buses From Transporting Protestors

Presidency Vows Govt Didn’t Sabotage EFF’s Shutdown by Blocking Transnat Buses From Transporting Protestors

  • The Presidency has backed Transport Minister Sindi Chikunga for destroying the EFF's plan to get protestors to its national shutdown
  • Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni claimed government was merely fulfilling its mandate to protect citizens
  • EFF leader Julius Malema claims that the transport department's decision to block the deal with the bus company resulted in the protest being smaller than expected

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JOHANNESBURG - Newly appointed Transport Minister Sindi Chikunga landed on EFF leader Julius Malema's bad side for allegedly blocking buses from transporting EFF supporters to national shutdown protests.

The presidency claims government was fulfilling its duty by blocking a transport deal between EFF and a bus company
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni defended the government for killing the EFF's transport deal for the national shutdown. Image: Waldo Swiegers & EMMANUEL CROSET
Source: Getty Images

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni backed Chikunga's decision, claiming government did not engage in sabotage by blocking the buses.

Ntshavheni said:

"We just had to make sure that everybody plays by the rules."

Read also

National shutdown: ANC, DA dismiss EFF protest as flop, Mzansi believes it was successful: “We have power”

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Transport minister pressures bus company into backing out of R1m deal with EFF

Transport Minister Chikunga reportedly held an urgent meeting on Sunday, 19 March, with companies in the transport sector. The minister forced the stakeholder not to honour any booking from the EFF, IOL reported.

EFF leader Julius Malema said that the party paid a Transnat bus company R1m to hire 280 buses, but the company backed out of the deal because of threats from Chukunga.

While addressing a crowd in Church Square, Malema claimed that the low protest turnout resulted from the deal falling through, News24 reported.

Minister in the Presidency said government wouldn't allow EFF to use state resources for the national shutdown

In an attempt to rationalise the move, Ntshavheni said that government had a responsibility to protect citizens, adding that the ANC-led government wasn't going to allow "hooligans" to use state resources to disrupt the country.

Read also

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi claims party shut businesses down peacefully as protestors descended on Pretoria

Transnat bus company is a public transport operator subsidised by government.

South Africans slam government for using underhanded tactics to undermine the EFF's shutdown

@ThabangWaLona marvelled:

"She intimidated the bus companies."

@Kha_li76 said

"We also now understand that Ramaphosa’s administration is occupied by people who are willing to use underhanded tactics."

@Logan35252966 questioned:

"Wonder if it's just the buses that the ANC uses subsidies to control and manipulate?"

@bonganizikalala slammed:

"The government keeps scoring own goals. Cash-strapped bus companies returning millions to EFF, much-needed cash injections while wasting millions in SANDF deployment."

@gqitiyeza accused:

"So they sabotaged the EFF, then called the shutdown a failure thereafter. The ANC is vomit."

ANC, DA dismiss EFF protest as a flop, Mzansi believes it was successful: “We have power”

In a related story, Briefly News reported that the Economic Freedom Fighters and its members filled various streets across South Africa as part of its national shutdown on Monday, 20 March.

Read also

National shutdown: Carl Niehaus sparks controversy after claiming SAPS and SANDF are unhappy about deployment

EFF leader Julius Malema took a victory lap lauding the protest as a success, as many businesses, particularly in Tshwane and the Joburg CBD, were forced to close their doors for the day, News24 reported.

However, the ANC and DA beg to differ.

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Source: Briefly News

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