Malema accused of abusing his right to freedom of speech

He said the EFF “will remove the government through the barrel of a gun” if it react violently to protest.

FILE: The Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNEBSURG - The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has accused Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema of abusing his right to freedom of speech.

Malema made a controversial statements in an interview with Al Jazeera saying the EFF "will remove the government through the barrel of a gun" if it continues to react violently to peaceful protest.

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

Sanco 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."

In the Al Jazeera interview, the EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Malema was asked what he meant by taking up arms.

He said, "literally, I mean literally, the barrel of a gun."

Ndlozi said people should be afforded the right to protest without being intimidated or shot at by police.

"Each time people protest, each time they demand services, you go and kill them. If you do that, you must know we will be prepared to take up arms."

The party warned of potential conflict if the upcoming local government elections are rigged.

It accused the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng of rigging the 2014 general elections.

It warned of radical consequences should this happen again.

Ndlozi said they're not scared of conflict.

"Are we not scared of a civil war in the defence of our revolution? No we're not."

He said they're prepared to react if provoked.

Meanwhile last week, Sanco slammed Malema for calling on black people to have more babies, saying the comment is irresponsible and ignores the plight of poor black people.

Malema called on black people to reproduce for their legacy to remain dominant, then accused white people of discouraging this so that they can take over politically.

Sanco said that statement ignored the importance of family planning in human development and will push poor people into further poverty if they heed his call.