FRONT LINE: Feisty pensioner takes on ‘nyaope boys’ at Luthuli House
President Jacob Zuma must go - and this pensioner is prepared to die for it
Pensioner Julia Mamahina started her morning with a stop at the clinic to check her blood pressure before she joined in a “hands off the ANC” march that turned violent soon after her arrival outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
The 58-year-old, from Diepkloof in Soweto, was among a group of about 500 anti-Zuma protesters who had gathered to wait for Black Land First (BLF) members who were planning a pro-Zuma march.
Mamahina has little time for the BLF, dismissing them with a wave of the hand as the “nyaope boys”.
“The ANC headquarters is not their playground. The ANC knows who to listen to. They can’t listen to the BLF. They’ve elected the top six and they will listen to the top six,” she told Times Select, speaking in isiZulu.
Mamahina, who has been a proud ANC member for more three decades, was wearing an ANC kanga and carrying a big yellow poster with the words: “Zuma must fall.”
Armed with an energy drink, a lunch box and water, she chanted and sang struggle songs.She had arrived at Luthuli House by 8am already, but this was not her first stop. Mamahina started her day with a visit to the clinic to check her blood pressure and sugar levels.
But this pensioner is not a woman to be underestimated. When a bakkie carrying BLF members arrived at Luthuli House and clashes broke out, Mamahina made a run for it, taking cover at nearby government offices.
A group of men carrying bricks, sjamboks and sticks attacked those in the bakkie, including a woman who was kicked while on the ground.
The police managed to bring the situation under control and, within a blink of the eye, the troublemakers had disappeared, with an old shoe, caps and sandals the only evidence left scattered in the street.
“I’m prepared to die for the right thing. Zuma must step down,” said Mamahina, emerging from her hiding place.
She then rejoined the anti-Zuma group, singing songs critical of the current president, as if nothing had happened.