EFF leader Julius Malema’s stance on the violent protests in Senekal, Free State, has received mixed reactions in the past week from the public and politicians, some of whom have accused him of inciting public violence.
The unrest followed the murder of 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner, allegedly by two men who appeared in the Senekal magistrate’s court on Tuesday last week. Their matter was postponed to Friday while they remain in police custody.
A police van was set alight and court property was damaged as protesters demanded entry into the holding cells.
Malema lashed out at the government for a lack of accountability and questioned if the response would have been the same had the protesters been black. That was followed by a controversial call to the party’s “ground forces” to come out in numbers on Friday to attend the second court appearance in “defence” of democracy and public property.
On Thursday, he maintained the party’s stance during an interview with Newzroom Afrika, and said the party was against the violation of the constitution.
Here are eight telling quotes from Malema:
The government is scared
“Since the government of Cyril Ramaphosa is scared to act decisively, we are on our own. Next appearance, all ground forces and peace-loving South Africans will be in attendance, in defence of our democracy and property. Magwala a chechele morago (cowards move to the back)!”
White people do as they please
“Whites don’t play, they are dealing with this clownish government of their puppet Cyril Ramaphosa. No single rubber bullet. Can you imagine if it was black people?”
No such thing as farm murders
“There is nothing in our law called farm murder. Murder is murder. It is criminality and should be attended to as such. A criminal must rot in jail once found guilty. We have no interest in people who go around killing innocent people, particularly civilians who are trying to make an honest living.”
A meeting with Bheki Cele
“I told him [police minister Bheki Cele] that you are scared of white people. There is too much white arrogance here and you have allowed it.”
Won’t sympathise with a thug
“A criminal must rot in jail, once found guilty. We have no interest of people who go around killing innocent people, particularly civilians who are trying to make an honest living. So we really are not going to Senekal to sympathise with a thug. We are going there to defend our democracy, our constitution, which is under threat.”
Standing up to white people
“If standing up to a white man makes me a thug, I’m a proud thug. If standing up to a white man makes me a fascist, I’m a proud fascist.”
Police must act
“Police must regain respect. Bheki Cele must regain our respect. From that day until now, they have not arrested the real culprits who caused anarchy in Senekal because Cele has failed.”
There will be no violence
“We are not going to fight anyone. We are going there peacefully, but you push, we push. We will not shoot anyone, we will not provoke anyone. Just don’t push us.”