2 assault charges laid against EFF MP after SONA klap

EFF leader Julius Malema at media interviews after SONA 2019, despite a "threat" to his life, the party claims. (Photo: Jenni Evans, News24)
EFF leader Julius Malema at media interviews after SONA 2019, despite a "threat" to his life, the party claims. (Photo: Jenni Evans, News24)

Two plain clothes police officers have opened cases of assault against members of the EFF following an altercation after the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday night.

Video footage emerged on Friday showing EFF MP Marshall Dlamini slapping a plain clothes police officer.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo confirmed to News24 that two charges of assault have been laid by a female sergeant and a male warrant officer respectively.

He added that police are currently investigating the matters and will then send the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions for decision on whether or not to prosecute.

Assassination plot

Following the slapping incident, the EFF have claimed that the altercation was in response to a right-wing threat against the life of their leader, Julius Malema.

"The EFF has received media enquiries regarding an assassination threat on the life of the CIC [commander-in-chief] Julius Malema, which had been planned to be executed during the 2019 State of the Nation Address yesterday," read a statement by EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

"The security threat implicates elite members of the police, who are in collaboration with right-wing groups to take the life of the CIC, in an attempt to undermine the advances on the expropriation of land without compensation discourse, that will soon be law."

WATCH: EFF MP slaps man after SONA

According to Ndlozi, the EFF was told that the Parliamentary Security Service, also known as "white shirts" or "bouncers", have been infiltrated by these groups and targeted the occasion of the SONA to execute the "assassination".

"The hope was that the EFF caucus would be kicked out of the house, using the parliamentary security [white shirts]."

Warrant Officer Johan Carstens

Warrant Officer Johan Carstens.

"The anticipated evil acts would then be carried out during this moment of chaos. The EFF can confirm this and any further inquiries regarding this threat must be directed to the SAPS [SA Police Service] and the Minister of Police."

READ: EFF claims their MP slapped man due to 'right wing assassination threat' on Malema

According to the statement, Malema and the EFF leadership were "unreasonably stopped by the white shirts" in Parliament after the House had been adjourned. They ostensibly thought "this was the moment and reacted with the necessary self-defence".

"The event of a white security man in black and white, being pushed and clapped [sic] in the face, followed him violently pulling the CIC Malema, from passing through the corridor doors of the National Assembly."

The police ministry confirmed on Saturday that they have received information of the threat from the red berets.

News24 previously reported that despite the grave "threat" to his life, Malema nonchalantly faced the media outside the National Assembly for interviews after the SONA. He and his colleagues were all smiles.

Parliament condemns EFF MP actions

Meanwhile, Parliament has condemned Dlamini's alleged assault in the "strongest terms."

Parliament's presiding officers, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise said the initial report alleges that Warrant Officer Johan Carstens, responsible for cordoning off the exit area for the procession, faced sudden confrontation and was attacked by the EFF MP, resulting in facial injuries.

"The presiding officers are outraged and disappointed by this shameful conduct by the MP, who, as a public representative, is expected to display exemplary conduct to the rest of society – particularly during an important and decorous occasion such as the SONA," reads the statement.

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