South Africa, Durban – Rights organisation is taking EFF leader Julius Malema to task over his latest inflammatory remarks directed at members of the SAPS.
Malema’s latest remarks have been described as a direct threat against police and their family members.
The KwaZulu-Natal-based South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) has laid a criminal complaint with the SAPS, calling for Malema to be investigated and charged for sedition, high treason and hate speech.
Ashin Singh, the organisation’s former leader, said he had been approached by members of the organisation and SAPS officials after more “inflammatory” utterances by Malema.
Malema and Singh have crossed swords before. Malema was accused of using derogatory names to refer to Indians and Singh took him to task.
Singh said action must be taken against Malema as it was clear that he had not learned anything from warnings about his inflammatory remarks.
“He had called Indians … (a derogatory name) and he came and apologised and said he would not use inflammatory terms. We at Samrem did not want a fight with him and accepted the apology, but soon after he called Indians racist,” he said.
Malema threatened the police following violent clashes between EFF supporters and the police in Cape Town last week after their march to Brackenfell High School. The school has been accused of racism following revelations that parents at the school had organised a private party for white pupils.
In his affidavit, Singh quotes Malema as saying: “If the SAPS 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 in the picket lines, we will go to their homes and fight them in their houses with their families, we are not scared of the police.”
Singh said they viewed this as a threat to police and their families.
“It is common knowledge that in the 1980s, a number of policemen were killed due to political unrest. The EFF has become a lawless, violent organisation with no respect for law…
“The words (he) uttered have induced a sense of fear and shock in policemen and their families and cannot go unpunished, they constitute intimidation designed to incite violence and to intimidate the SAPS and their family members.”
Singh added that a number of police officers had indicated that they feared attacks by the EFF while carrying out their duties and feared for their families.
EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo dismissed the complaint as a stunt.
“There is a deliberate attempt at misrepresenting the CIC (Malema) in an attempt to mislead society and present the EFF as what it’s not.
“It must be clear to all our detractors who have chosen law to fight us that we are going to fight them everywhere where they dare to challenge us – and the courts are not an exception.”
The police ministry said while the EFF and its leader had the right to express their views on the government, the threat to the lives of the police, their loved ones and their homes would not be tolerated or allowed to happen.
The ministry said Police Minister Bheki Cele had reiterated that there would be consequences for anyone who acts on the threats against police officers or their family members.
Political analyst Thabani Khumalo said it was about time Malema was taken to task.
“The first person who should have taken legal action should have been the Police Minister Bheki Cele.”