EFF supporters at a Gauteng hostel live in fear after they were again severely assaulted hours after they were visited by their leader, Julius Malema.
On Monday, Malema visited the Sethokga Hostel in Tembisa in Ekurhuleni following the death of two EFF members who were assaulted when they campaigned at the hostel a month ago.
Malema was also nearly attacked by some residents of the hostel and later lashed out at the police for their handling of the matter.
At night, after Malema’s departure, 32 people were beaten up by a large group of men armed with golf clubs, sticks and knobkerries. They were taken to hospital
The victims said the men were singing anti-Malema songs as they broke down doors before they attacked them.
Jacob Ramahuma, 59, who sustained head injuries, expressed his anger.
“I was beaten up by young boys. My whole body aches. We voted for the ANC and helped them to take over the government. Now they do not tolerate other parties.
“They targeted Sepedi-speaking people because they believe they all belong to the EFF. It is political intolerance and we want it to stop,” he said.
Another resident, who is an EFF member, said he never wears his party T-shirt because he suspected he could be attacked.
“I came back because I have nowhere else to go. They are angry because Malema was here. I was beaten with golf sticks from all angles.
“I could feel blood flowing down my neck, they also broke my arm. I told them to kill me and that’s when they stopped,” he said.
Another resident, who suffered head injuries, said they did not want the EFF to return to the hostel. “Look at us now. They are making us fight among ourselves as residents. The ANC is in charge here, we all know that.
“Malema is causing problems for us. I jumped down from this top floor in fear and I almost broke my legs,” he said.
Gauteng police spokesman Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said they were investigating a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and public violence.
EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said they condemned the violence.
“[The violence] is being meted out against innocent residents associated with the EFF. Hostel criminal dwellers waited for the sun to set and started raiding all hostel blocks where residents associated with the EFF live, injuring 32 people.
“The criminals of Block 24 seem to be on a tribalistic drive attacking all Pedi-speaking people, including old women, who know nothing about political tensions,” he said.