Hawks to head probe into Malema's 'barrel of a gun' statement

2016-04-26 19:51
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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Cape Town – The Hawks would be responsible for investigating EFF leader Julius Malema’s statement about removing government “through the barrel of a gun”, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said at a briefing on Tuesday.

Journalists in attendance asked why similar action was not taken against ANCYL president, Collen Maine, for apparent threats of civil war against the EFF earlier in the year.

Nhleko replied that he was not sure whether anybody had complained at a police station over Maine.

“The reason why the Hawks are investigating the matter is precisely because here has been a complaint registered with the Hillbrow Police Station,” he said.

Asked repeatedly what charge or complaint was being investigated, and whether it was high treason, Nhleko said, “A charge is always a product of an investigation. Let me stress this point. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says and how you want to categorise a particular allegation.”

Run out of patience

He said he did not subscribe to the view that if something was allegedly wrong or out of line, nothing should be done about it.

During an episode of Talk To Al Jazeera last week, Malema told interviewer, Jonah Hull, that if the ruling ANC continued to respond violently to peaceful protests, "we will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun".

Nhleko said an investigation would determine whether the allegations were true. “It can never be correct that that which is said on TV and radio is factual,” he said.

He asked that space be given for the investigation to “unearth whatever it needed to unearth”.

Far-reaching implications

Earlier, he said the police had noted with serious concern reckless and inflammatory statements that had made their way into the public space.

He said these statements could have far-reaching implications, such as “plunging the country into chaos”, if not handled properly and contextualised.

“We would like to appeal to our people that in exercising our rights, we need to show responsibility and need to refrain from using the genuine grievances afflicting our various communities to drive political agendas…” he said.

Read more on:    eff  |  hawks  |  julius malema  |  nathi nhleko

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