Nhleko confirms case against Malema for 'barrel of a gun' statement

2016-04-26 16:40
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko

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Cape Town – Police Minister Nathi Nhleko on Tuesday confirmed a case had been opened against EFF leader Julius Malema over his threat to remove the government "through the barrel of a gun".

The police had noted with serious concern the reckless and inflammatory statements which made their way into the public space, Nhleko told journalists at a briefing in Cape Town.

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

Freedom of speech was not absolute, he said. A case had, therefore, been opened against Malema at the Hillbrow police station in Johannesburg.

Nhleko said the due process of investigation would follow.

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

Earlier on Tuesday, State Security Minister David Mahlobo also condemned Malema’s statement.

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."

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

Mahlobo said the state security’s message was that there were those who were reckless with their statements, "who are 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.

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".

Read more on:    julius malema  |  nathi nhleko

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