Police Minister Nathi Nhleko says Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema’s words could have far-reaching implications, such as “plunging the country into chaos”, if not handled properly and contextualized. Nhleko made this statement while confirming that the ANC has truly lodged a case against the opposition leader.
We will recall that Malema had Sunday threatened to forcefully remove the present government by force if it responds to EFF’s peaceful protests with violence. Malema added that if such comes up, his party will remove the government ‘through the barrel of a gun’.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko Confirms Case
Speaking to journalists at a briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday, Nhleko said the police had taken Malema’s reckless and inflammatory statement with a deep sense of concern and also with the way his assertions made their way into the public space.
He added that freedom of speech was not absolute and therefore, a case had been opened against Malema at the Hillbrow police station in Johannesburg. The police minister remarked that due process of investigation would be launched.
“We would like to appeal to our people that, in exercising of our right, we need to show responsibility and need to refrain from using the genuine grievances afflicting our various communities to drive political agendas…” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday in Parliament, State Security Minister David Mahlobo slammed Malema for making the violent-driven statement. He stated that though everyone is entitled to free speech, his remarks are unacceptable because fomenting verbal chaos in the country is never allowed.
Mahlobo slammed Malema saying, “The problem is when we allow some people, especially if you have that one family member who’s mentally disturbed, when a mentally disturbed person talks, let them talk and don’t pay attention to them. But if you dare give them matchsticks, you need to make sure you restrain them because they will burn down the house”
The African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, had earlier related on Twitter that the party had laid charges against Malema in his personal capacity with Hillbrow police station. Kodwat added that “Malema’s reckless utterances display a shocking lack of judgement on the part of the EFF “…The remarks made by Mr Malema are a clear incitement to people to commit acts of violence.”