ARMED guards have been dispatched to the Gupta estate in Saxonwold as Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and thousands of supporters prepare a march to Constitution Hill today.
But the ANC Youth league also plan to march there to defend President Jacob Zuma.
Yesterday a guard said Malema‘s threats last week to ‘‘deal with‘‘ the Gupta family and their business interests were being taken seriously.
“My brother, our bosses are very updated with security, as you can see, it is beefed up. They don’t take the EFF threats lightly,” said one of the guards stationed in the street along the estate.
Last week Malema declared war on the Gupat family and president Jacob Zuma saying they engaged in “money laundering and racketeering” through the media interests they controlled.
The Gupta family own New Age newspaper and television channel ANN7.
EFF also said journalists working foir these entitiues were not welcomed to their gatherings and if they do their safety is not guaranteed.
The Constitutional Court was due to hear arguments from EFF , the Democratic Alliance after they took Zuma to court following his failure to implement the Public Protectors recommendations that he pay back part of the money used for security related upgrades to his home in Nkandla.
After years of denial with police minister and parliament absolving Zuma of liability , last week Zuma did a U-turn and proposed to repay some of money as recommended by the public protector, but EFF and the DA refused declined his proposal and said the court should decide on the matter.
The EFF march today is expected to start at 10am, at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, and will proceed to the Constitutional Court at the Constitution Hill.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said the department would try and keep the ANCYL march separate from that of the EFF but could not confirm whether or not the ANCYL was granted permission to march in the same route as EFF.
“We have enough man power to deal with issues when it comes to the march because when we give permission [to march] we put the operational planning in place,” said Mamonyane.
Gauteng SAPS spokesman Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said there would be enough police dispatched to the march.
Traffic will be controlled by the metro police working together with the SAPS and the Gauteng Traffic police.
Mlondi Mkhize, ANC youth league national spokesperson said the their march to the court is intended not only to defend the president but to defend democracy.
He said the Nkandla saga was not the fault of Zuma but a result of mismanagement by the department of public works as various commissions have found.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said that his party would be ready to defend themselves should anyone try to interfere or disrupt the march.
“We give a strong warning to whoever wants to come and disrupt the EFF gathering that we are not called fighters for nothing. We don’t go around disrupting peoples gatherings or anyone’s march. If you come and want to disrupt our march we are not called fighters for nothing.” said Ndlozi.
“We have gone through all the necessary legal steps to make sure that we comply with the public gathering act and therefore anybody who interferes with our march with the intention to disrupt it… we will be there to defend ourselves.” he added.