Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hawks to Probe Malema
April 27, 2016

CAPE TOWN. — South Africa’s specialised crime-fighting unit, the Hawks, are set to investigate criminal charges against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said yesterday.

Briefing journalists in Parliament, along with police top brass, Nhleko said Malema’s comment on Al Jazeera at the weekend that the South African government would be removed by the “barrel of a gun” by the opposition once its patience had run out was “reckless”, “inflammatory”, and had the potential of “plunging the country into chaos”.

“The matter is now being investigated by the Hawks,” he said.

The charges against Malema were laid at the Hillbrow police station by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

“A due process of investigation is to follow,” Nhleko said.

“We need to show responsibility and we need to refrain from using genuine grievances that are afflicting various communties to drive narrow political agendas that have potential to destabalise the country.”

The ANC on Monday opened a case of treason against Malema.

The move is over his threat to remove the South African government “through the barrel of a gun”.

“The threat to remove a lawfully, democratically-elected leader through an undemocratic process is against the law and the Constitution.

We call on South African Police Service to investigate a charge of high treason,” ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24, a local news outlet.

He said the ruling party was doing this for all South Africans as well as to defend and protect the country’s hard-won democracy and freedom.

Also on Monday, the ANC issued a statement, voicing “extreme concern” over Malema’s remarks.

“These remarks are a call to violence, inflammatory, treasonable and seditious and should be treated with extreme seriousness,” said the statement.

Malema’s utterances “also are in clear violation of the Electoral Code and the Charter on Elections Ethics signed by a number of political parties — including EFF, last week”, it said.

In signing the Charter, political parties committed themselves to upholding and promoting Constitutional values, alongside the Elections Code in the run-up to the August 3 local government elections.

“These reckless utterances display a shocking lack of judgment on the part of the leadership of the EFF who have a duty, together with all political parties, to ensure their membership abides with the laws of the land. The remarks made by Mr Malema are a clear incitement to people to commit acts of violence, which is against the laws of the Republic,” said the ANC. — African News Agency/Xinhua.

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