Cele not convinced Malema’s threats against cops taken out of context

While the red berets said that Police Minister Bheki Cele was taking the remarks out of context, he warned that there would be consequences against anyone who acted against police officers or their family members.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele releases the first quarter crime statistics for 2020/2021 at a media briefing on 14 August 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday said that he was not convinced that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s remarks against officers were taken out of context, despite claims to the contrary.

Addressing supporters in the Free State on Sunday, Malema made several warnings against the police, saying his party was willing to fight them in their homes.

“If South African police want a fight, they must declare it. We will treat them the same way we treated them in the 80s, we will not only fight them at the picket lines, we will go to their homes and fight them in their own houses with their own families…we will come for you one by one at your own comfort zone,” Malema was quoted as saying.

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The comments were in response to violent scenes that played out during an anti-racism protest outside Brackenfell High School in Cape Town.

While the red berets said that the minister was taking the remarks out of context, Cele warned that there would be consequences against anyone who acted against police officers or their family members.

“As a political organisation, the EFF and its leader have every right to express their views on the government of the day. However, the threat to the lives of the police, their loved ones, and their homes won’t be tolerated or allowed to happen,” Cele said in a statement.

Cele to Malema: You crossed the line with reckless comments about police


Meanwhile, AfriForum and Solidarity have lodged a criminal complaint against Malema for his comments, saying that more than 1,000 officers had reported their concerns.

“It is clear that Malema still believes that he is above the law. The reason why Malema makes these remarks in the first place is that to date there have been no consequences for all the previous incidents where he openly incited violence. If the police do not take this matter with the necessary seriousness, Malema will see it as a confirmation that he is indeed above the law,” said AfriForum’s head of policy and action, Ernst Roets in a statement.

He said they were prepared to privately prosecute Malema for his comments.

“AfriForum's private prosecution unit will continuously monitor the case to ensure that justice is done. If Malema is not prosecuted by the National Prosecuting Authority, the private prosecution unit will prosecute him privately.”

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