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ANC to lay criminal charges after Malema’s ‘take up arms & fight’ comments

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Malema said he's prepared to remove the ANC through the barrel of a gun.

EFF leader Julius Malema is accused of inciting civil war. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress(ANC) says it plans to lay criminal charges against Economic Freedom Fighters' leader Julius Malema for saying his party will "take up arms and fight" the ANC.

In an interview with international television station Al Jazeera, Malema said he is prepared to remove the governing party through the barrel of a gun.

He said not even the army will stop them.

"We are not going to stand back, Zuma is not going to use the army to intimidate us. We are not scared of the army, we are not scared to fight. We will fight - yes, literally we will fight. I mean it literally, we are not scared."

But the ANC's Zizi Kodwa says they take this threat extremely seriously.

"We are going to lay criminal charges, because we don't think this is just the issue of human rights for someone to call for a blood bath and mass slaughter. Because a civil war will bring about manslaughter, nothing else."

Meanwhile, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has accused the EFF leader of abusing his right to freedom of speech.

Sanco says Malema has violated his oath of allegiance to Parliament through his comments.

The organisation's spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said, "In a democratic state, such a statement would be irresponsible and actually should be a criminal offence for anyone to make a threat that he would pick up arms to fight against a democratic government."

The party will discuss the remarks in a meeting today.

Kodwa says Malema has undermined the Constitution.

"A leader of a party that sits in Parliament, who is a lawmaker himself, makes these undemocratic statements, which suggest that he undermines the Constitution and does not understand South African law. He calls for a civil war which we are saying is something that should be rejected."

EFF ACCUSED OF INCITING VIOLENCE IN DUNOON

Last week, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille blamed violent protests that erupted in Dunoon on the EFF.

De Lille's spokesperson Pierrinne Leukes says the mayor has met with community leaders.

"The community leaders that Mayor De Lille met with reported that the EFF are mobilising and inciting public violence on the ground. This is also reflected in police intelligence which has been gathering the past few days."

LISTEN: De Lille pins blame on EFF for Dunoon violence

Additional reporting by Queenin Masuabi.

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