Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema has vowed to help the family of Mthokozisi Ntumba, in their pursuit for justice over his death. Ntumba, a 35-year-old man, was shot dead allegedly by a member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) last week during a protest by Wits University students in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Malema and several party officials visited the man’s family in their Kempton Park home on Sunday, 14 March 2021.

Malema and EFF to help bury Mthokozisi Ntumba

Julius Malema said the EFF would help the family in taking legal action against the state for his killing. Malema added that they would assist in giving Ntumba a decent send off.

“We are going to make sure that the postmortem is conducted properly. We want to make sure that government pays and pays a lot of money for killing an innocent soul. We are going to make sure that our brother receives a dignified funeral,” he said.

“They might have killed him like a dog, but he will never be buried like a dog”

Ntumba was a family man who had three children. He was also an employee with the Human Settlements Department and had just completed his Master’s degree. His death further fuelled the outrage already felt by students as well as South Africans. Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the man’s family a day after his passing and faced tough questions from journalists, on the extent of brutality by law enforcement, levelled against civilians.

Malema was rather scathing of the minister, accusing him of treating black civilians differently from their white counterparts.

“The killing of one innocent soul should necessitate for the minister to step down, but in this government and this country no-one takes responsibility. Bheki Cele, when he speaks to white people he is soft and nice, but when it comes to black people, he speaks to us like we are his children. He is a reckless, useless minister,” he said.

“He talks to black people like we are not human beings and we don’t deserve dignity.”

For many, this is a stark reminder of the 2016 Fees Must Fall protests which rocked most tertiary institutions across the country. The unrest at Wits certainly stood at the time, due to the extent of violence which broke out between police officers and protesting students.


Presh JM Reporter

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