Following outrage over comments from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s suggestion that the party take action against police officers by “going into their homes and fighting them in their own houses, with their own families”, death threats appear to have been levelled against the Red Beret’s Commander-in-Chief.
Malema’s controversial comments follow altercations between the police and protesters in Brackenfell, Cape Town last week, in which police clashed with mainly EFF members, using rubber bullets and teargas to disperse crowds.
Cele defiant in wake of threatening comments
Several opposition parties have voiced their anger over the comments, and Police Minister Bheki Cele has furiously responded to Malema by saying that the South African Police Service (SAPS) will not take such threats lying down.
“I think the EFF leader has crossed the line. You aren’t going to threaten the police and think they’ll just fold their arms. The threat to the lives of police members and their families will not be tolerated,” he said earlier on Tuesday.
Malema shares ‘death threats’ on Twitter
Malema posted several videos and images on his Twitter account on Tuesday in which death threats are levelled against him. In one post, a man sent a message to Malema that read “Yusis bud can’t wait for someone to put a bullet in your fat head”.
Malema has himself been accused of levelling threats of violence on more than one occasion, and his concern over messages dropping into his inbox have hardly garnered sympathy from his colleagues across the benches.
City of Cape Town pursue costs order for damages during Brackenfell protest
The Democratic Alliance (DA) have welcomed the decision by the City of Cape Town to try and recover the cost of damages to municipal property during the protest last week through civil action, and said that the EFF have been reckless in their attempts to fight racism.
“The EFF had no business in Brackenfell on Friday. Their protest against “racism” was nothing more than a vile act of political opportunism,” said Refiloe Nt’sekhe, the DA’s National Spokesperson
“While we commend the efforts of SAPS, the Metro Police and other law enforcement agencies to control the situation and limit the violence and damage to property, the EFF failed to meet the City’s conditions for this protest,” he said.
FF Plus to lay complaint against Malema
The FF Plus have also condemned the threats against members of the police, and said that they will lodge a formal complaint against Malema for intimidation.
He called for “decisive action” to be taken against Malema because “he is becoming more and more radical and he seems to think that he is invincible”.
“These kinds of statements have the potential to plunge South Africa into conflict and it would be absolutely unacceptable to let Malema get off scot-free again,” he said.