Julius Malema has made comments against the SAPS.
- The EFF leader made threats to police officers while speaking to supporters in Free State on Sunday.
- Malema said: “If South African Police want a fight, they must declare it.”
- Cele has called on police officers to protect themselves, if needs be.
Police Minister Bheki Cele says statements made by EFF leader Julius Malema over the weekend against SAPS members will not be taken lightly.
On Monday Cele said he had noted with disgust the, “reckless, irresponsible and dangerous”, statements made by Malema while addressing his supporters over the weekend. Cele said the statements by Malema clearly encouraged violence against members of SAPS and their families.
READ | City of Cape Town goes after EFF for damage during Brackenfell protest
“I think the EFF leader has crossed the line, you’re not going to threaten the police and think they will just fold their arms. The job of the police is clear and is prescribed in the Constitution, which is to protect, prevent, combat and investigate crime.
“Police are also there to uphold and enforce the law, so no one has the right threaten the police when they conduct their work,” Cele said.
The minister has called on police to protect themselves, adding that he was confident that, if needs be, they were, “more than capable of defending themselves, should they be under any attack”.
“The threat to the lives of police members and their families will not be tolerated, officers of the law should never be used as bait for political mileage.”
Addressing his supporters in Mohokare Municpality in the Free State on Sunday, Malema said they were not scared of police, terming them as “cowards”. He said “they” would come for them, adding that their uniform gave them superiority.
The leader said the party would continue going after racists everywhere.
Malema’s statements against police came after they clashed with EFF members who were protesting in Brackenfell, Cape Town, on Friday.
Police used stun grenades, teargas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of EFF protesters in the streets of Brackenfell, News24 reported.
The supporters marched to Brackenfell High School to protest against a private matric party that was reportedly attended by only white pupils. Malema said: “If [the] South African Police want a fight, they must declare it. We will treat them the same way we treated them in the 80s (1980s). We will not only fight them in the picket lines, we will go to their homes and fight them in their houses with their own families. We are not scared of Police.
“We will come for you one by one at [sic] your own comfort zone. We will teach you that no can defeat the power of the masses. Not a policeman, not a police state, not a military state… .”