Was Julius Malema right to threaten the police? Social media is split
Comments made by EFF leader Julius Malema against police have received condemnation from police minister Bheki Cele and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), and mixed reactions on social media.
On Sunday Malema addressed EFF supporters during a community meeting in Mohokare, Free State, lamenting what he claimed was the the ill-treatment of EFF members by the police in Brackenfell, Cape Town, last Friday.
The red berets descended on Brackenfell to protest against racism after it was reported a group of parents at Brackenfell High School held a private, unofficial matric ball which was only attended by white pupils
The police used stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse crowds during violent clashes with police.
Malema said: “If SA 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, we will go to their homes and fight them in their own houses with their own families.”
Cele said police are there to uphold the law and no-one has the right to threaten them. He added that the police will not take Malema's threats lightly.
“I think the EFF leader has crossed the line. You are not going to threaten the police and think they will just fold their arms. The job of the office is clear and is prescribed in the constitution, which is to protect, prevent, combat and investigate crime,” said Cele.
Lobby group AfriForum and trade union Solidarity opened a criminal case against Malema on Wednesday.
Solidarity said it received complaints from 1,000 police officers regarding Malema's threats.
On social media, opinions were divided, with some applauding Malema for speaking out against alleged police brutality. Others slammed the EFF leader, claiming he was inciting violence with his remarks.
Here's a glimpse into the reactions:
What?? did Julius Malema really encourage his members to be violent towards the police and their families? What happens when the police justifiable defend themselves? I'm listening to SAFM news right now!.... your leaders 🙆♂️— Charlotte Z Khumalo (@CharlotteKhuma3) November 24, 2020
In a normal law abiding country Julius Malema would have been in prison by now. Declaring war against a country’s law enforcement agency is tantamount to treason.— John Baloyi (@Dijosti) November 24, 2020
Julius Malema is fixing this country. 🤞🏾— YountuSnr 🎶 (@ThabangYountu) November 24, 2020
The snakes are now being unskinned!