State security calls for investigation into Malema's 'barrel of a gun' comments

2016-04-26 19:35

Parliament – Minister of State Security David Mahlobo has condemned Julius Malema’s threat to remove the government “through the barrel of a gun”, saying the EFF leader's utterances were not acceptable.

Addressing media on Tuesday, Mahlobo said everyone had a right to free speech, but propagating war was not allowed. “The law enforcement agencies must deal with it, let’s allow them to deal with that particular incident,” he said.

On Monday, the ANC opened a treason case against Malema. 

Mahlobo said the state security agency's message was that those who were reckless with their statements were "not fit to lead the nation we envisage. Whose statements must be condemned by South Africans".

Mahlobo said the Constitution was clear on the matter that no one could incite war.

ANCYL call for civil war

Questioned on SSA's silence when the ANC Youth League earlier this year called for civil war, the minister sidestepped the question and again condemned the EFF leader.

“No South African, irrespective of position, has a right to think that they can take us back. It’s unconstitutional and should be treated as such.”

He called for leaders to act responsibly.

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".

Commander in chief

Deputy Minister Ellen Molekane raised concerns that Malema’s comments were a build-up to something.

“Today we are asking a question about the comments he made. But on a daily basis, we call him the Commander in Chief? I want to know which army is he the commander in chief of?”

She said in terms of the Constitution, there was only one commander in chief.

“And that is the president of a democratic South Africa. In actual fact, the pronouncement he [Malema] is making, it’s a build up to something, and it started somewhere. It’s something we should be mindful of.”

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