SOUTH AFRICA, JOHANNESBURG – Police Minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday said that he was not convinced that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s remarks against officers were taken out of context, despite claims to the contrary.
Addressing supporters in the Free State on Sunday, Malema made several warnings against the police, saying his party was willing to fight them in their homes.
“If South African police want a fight, they must declare it. We will treat them the same way we treated them in the 80s, we will not only fight them at the picket lines, but we will also go to their homes and fight them in their own houses with their own families…we will come for you one by one at your own comfort zone,” Malema was quoted as saying.
The comments were in response to violent scenes that played out during an anti-racism protest outside Brackenfell High School in Cape Town.
While the red berets said that the minister was taking the remarks out of context, Cele warned that there would be consequences against anyone who acted against police officers or their family members.
“As a political organisation, the EFF and its leader have every right to express their views on the government of the day. However, the threat to the lives of the police, their loved ones, and their homes won’t be tolerated or allowed to happen,” Cele said in a statement.
AFRIFORUM AND SOLIDARITY LODGE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
Meanwhile, AfriForum and Solidarity have lodged a criminal complaint against Malema for his comments, saying that more than 1,000 officers had reported their concerns.
“It is clear that Malema still believes that he is above the law. The reason why Malema makes these remarks in the first place is that to date there have been no consequences for all the previous incidents where he openly incited violence. If the police do not take this matter with the necessary seriousness, Malema will see it as a confirmation that he is indeed above the law,” said AfriForum’s head of policy and action, Ernst Roets in a statement.