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ANC calls for inquiry into Malema’s ‘treasonable’ remarks

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s utterances on Al Jezeera that his party will remove the South African government “through the barrel of a gun”‚ must be taken extremely seriously as they incite violence‚ the African National Congress said in a statement.

These remarks are a call to violence‚ are inflammatory‚ treasonable and seditious‚” ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.

He said Malema’s comments were in violation of the Electoral Code and the Charter on Elections signed by political parties including the EFF last week.

“These reckless utterances display a shocking lack of judgement on the part of the EFF…The remarks made by Mr Malema are a clear incitement to people to commit acts of violence…‚” Kodwa said.

“The ANC calls on state authorities to urgently investigate this matter and act against such conduct.”

In the interview with Al Jazeera‚ Malema said the EFF was a peaceful organisation but was not scared to fight if the ANC responded violently to its peaceful protests.

“We will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun‚” Malema said.

The exchange began when interviewer Jonah Hull asked Malema how far he was willing to go in his “war” against President Jacob Zuma and reminded him of his 2014 threat to make the entire Gauteng province ungovernable.

“’We will fight‚’ you said. ‘We have the capability to mobilise our people and fight physically‚” Hull said. “That’s not befitting of a government in waiting‚ is it?” he asked the EFF leader.

“We know for a fact that Gauteng ANC rigged elections here‚” Malema replied. “We know for a fact that they lost Johannesburg and they lost Gauteng. But we still accepted it. But they must know that we are not going to do that this year. We are not going to accept. Part of the revolutionary duty is to fight and we are not ashamed if the need arise for us to take up arms and fight. We will fight.

“This regime must respond peacefully to our demands‚ must respond constitutionally to our demands. And if they are going to respond violently — like they did in the township of Alexandra‚ just outside Johannesburg‚ when people said these results do not reflect the outcome of our votes‚ they sent the army to go and intimidate our people — we are not going to stand back. Zuma is not going to use the army to intimidate us. We are not scared of the army. We are not scared to fight. We will fight.”

Hull asked Malema to clarify this. “When you say you are willing to take up arms‚ that’s what you mean?”

Malema: “Literally.”

Hull: “Against the government?”

Malema: “Yeah‚ literally. I mean it literally. We are not scared. We are not going to have a government that disrespects us.”

Hull: “And on what basis‚ under which circumstances?“

Malema: “If they respond violently to our peaceful protest.”

Malema further clarified‚ “We are a very peaceful organisation. We fight our battles through peaceful means‚ through the courts‚ through parliament‚ through mass moblisation. We do that peacefully. But at times‚ government gets tempted to respond to such with violence. They beat us up in parliament and they send soldiers to places like Alexandra where people are protesting. We will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun.”

Earlier‚ Malema had denied that Zuma was his primary concern.

“We are not waged in a war against Zuma and the ANC. We are waging a war against white monopoly capital. Zuma is not our enemy. The ANC is not our enemy. They are standing in our way to crushing white monopoly capital‚ which has stolen our land‚ which controls the wealth of our country. As we are in the process of crushing the white monopoly capital‚ there will be some of those irritations that we have to deal with. Zuma represents such an irritation; the ANC represents such an irritation.”