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EFF unfazed by criminal charges

EFF will lay counter charges against police and the legislature for injuries incurred by its members.

Economic Freedom Fighters push their way past policemen into the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in Johannesburg during a protest march 22 July 2014. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it will lay counter charges against the police and the Gauteng Legislature for the injuries suffered by its members during violent clashes this week.

Charges of vandalism and trespassing have been laid against the party leadership and individuals who took part in the sit-in at the legislature on Tuesday.

Hundreds of EFF members stormed the house demanding that their Members of Provincial Legislature be allowed to wear red overalls and domestic uniforms.

Last month, speaker Ntombi Mekgwe ordered police to remove the members due to slogans on their overalls allegedly contravening house rules.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the criminal charges don't scare them because their members were the ones who were injured.

"We will also lay charges and if there was any form of violence, it was our members defending themselves against the brutal police."

Ndlozi added the party plans to go back to the provincial government headquarters to have their demands addressed.

Furthermore, the ANC says the EFF's decision to oppose the Parliamentary dress code in the legislature shows contempt for the people that voted the party into power.

The ruling party's Gauteng spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli said, "The EFF must show maturity, they must not hide on unnecessary defiance under the pretence that what they are doing is revolutionary, so the drama has become a sad reality for those who voted for them."

Meanwhile, acting secretary of the legislature Hlengiwe Bhengu says the conduct of EFF members will also be looked into by the Parliamentary privileges and ethics committee.

Video: EFF storm Gauteng legislature.

All pictures by EWN.