EFF sends stern warning to Sasco
This follows an alleged attack on two EFF members at the Tshwane University of Technology this week.
JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has warned that it won't hesitate to retaliate if their members are attacked.
This follows an alleged attack on two EFF members at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the early hours of Friday morning.
According to the red berets, students wearing T-shirts of the African National Congress, aligned South African Student Congress (Sasco), entered the Orion residence chanting "the EFF must be removed and murdered" and allegedly assaulted the EFF members.
Earlier this week, EFF leader Julius Malema was filmed telling his supporters to attack Sasco members after they tried to disrupt his address at TUT.
He ordered EFF members and supporters to attack a group of Sasco members at the Tshwane University of Technology when they tried to disrupt a campaign meeting.
Police eventually fired stun grenades to break up the fight between the rival groups.
Malema has defended his order to attack saying law enforcement takes too long to investigate complaints laid by the party.
The party's Ntobeng Ntobeng says a case has been opened at the Garankuwa Police Station and the criminals must be brought to book.
"We urge the members of Sasco, fueled by hatred of EFF and statements by Blade Nzimande, that the next time they come face-to-face with us they will regret that moment because we have to defend ourselves and we'll defend ourselves with maximum force."
The ANC said South Africans should be "very worried" now that Malema has publicly announced his red berets will not tolerate disruptions by other parties and will attack if provoked.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says this proves the EFF has no regard for the rule of law.
"I think we must all be worried because political intolerance in South Africa has huge print. If the EFF wants to use universities to establish a footprint [of] violence it will create a particular character in the student politics."
Meanwhile, the Higher Education Department says it is extremely concerned by what its described as the de-generation of student politics into violence.
The department says a physical fight between members of Sasco and the EFF this week represents behaviour that is unbecoming of higher education students.
The department's spokesperson Khanye Nkwanyana said students must display a certain level of maturity when contesting SRC elections.
"In as much as they have the right to political activities they represent a particular section that should be exhibiting the high level of patience and tolerance. Whatever differences they might have they must manage those within the framework of democratic process."