The police are investigating a complaint against EFF leader Julius Malema after he was captured on camera discharging what appeared to be an automatic assault rifle.
“I can confirm that the SAPS (SA Police Service) registered a case of discharging of a firearm in a built-up area. Due processes will follow,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo
The complaint was lodged subsequent to the EFF’s fifth birthday celebrations which were held over the weekend at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, outside East London, during which Malema was caught on camera firing what appeared to be a rifle.
In the video published by News24 on Tuesday, the EFF leader can be seen firing several rounds from the rifle which he pointed towards the sky before handing it over to a man who ducks out of view of the camera.
Malema, visibly proud of himself, retreats towards EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu, and the two men high-five and join the rest of the party’s leadership in song and dance.
Lobby group AfriForum on Wednesday filed complaints against Malema at the Lyttelton police station in Centurion.
AfriForum’s Natasha Venter said the charges laid included “firing of a firearm in a built-up or public place without sufficient cause as well as possession of a firearm and ammunition without the necessary license and authority”.
According to Marnus Kamfer, law and risk manager of AfriForum’s community safety department, Malema’s actions reaffirmed the EFF’s “modus operandi” which included acting “blatantly and without respect for any legislative or judicial authority”.
“As leader of a political party, this action is reckless as its supporters can follow its actions and contempt of the law. His actions cannot pass unpunished,” said Kamfer.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi denied that a real firearm was used.
“It is not a firearm and no real bullets were shot. It was a simulation, part of our entire act of celebrating the fifth anniversary. It coincided with the singing of struggle songs and fireworks,” Ndlozi told News24.
In response to AfriForum’s charges, Ndlozi said: “We have nothing to fear from a police investigation. AfriForum has made the EFF and Mr Malema its agenda. They led a march called Black Monday where real guns were being proudly displayed in public; have they opened cases there as well?”