The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema has publicly declared that his speech concerning the Gupta-owned media was not a violent threat but a misinterpretation of statement on the part of the media.
Malema had on Thursday, in a press meeting ordered that the Gupta media should no longer cover EFF’s events. Calling them a propaganda machinery and a product of corrupt activities used to perpetuate corrupt actions, he said “Gupta media must no longer come to EFF events. We don’t want to see The New Age and ANN7.”
Reacting to this comment, the editor-in-chief of the New Age and the AA& issued a statement condemning Malema’s “threats of violence” and comparing it to those he (Malema) used during an outburst aimed at a BBC journalist in 2010,
“All freedom-loving democrats in South Africa should condemn the leader of the EFF for his utterances and threats against the staff of The New Age and TV channel ANN7,”
Speaking on this, Malema insisted he had not in any way issued a threat to the afore-mentioned media journalists. He said the journalist for the ANN7 misinterpreted his speech at the press briefing of Thursday, February 4th when he said he could not guarantee their safety.
Malema insisted that the Gupta family must leave the country and that must no longer come for any event of the EFF.”We want to advise the Gupta television and newspapers, they must no longer come to EFF events because it is not safe for them, this is not a threat of violence” he reiterated.
Speaking further, Malema said the EFF is not a violent party despite its waging “radical action” and they are not in any way planning to engage in any violent act. He said:
“We are capable of conducting a peaceful protest and those who want to misinterpret our message they deliberately do that,” he told the broadcaster.
“Members of the EFF are not drunkards who can just wake up in the morning and go and torch people’s houses and so we came here because we thought there was some misinterpretation from media houses and there is no threat at all outside.”
“They know what the leadership means and we came here because there was some deliberate misinterpretation from media houses, and we thought we needed to provide clarity.”
Meanwhile, the EFF leader had also called for a protest march against what he referred as “war against the Gupta family”. According to him, the Guptas have influenced the country with its corrupt practices through its relationship with Jacob Zuma and they would not fold their hand to watch the destroyed. the party, through its leader, therefore, ordered that the Gupta family leave the country and the “Zuptas must fall”.