Steenhuisen to Malema: Give up your police security detail

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EFF leader Julius Malema.
EFF leader Julius Malema.
Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images
  • DA leader John Steenhuisen has challenged EFF leader Julius Malema to give up his police security detail.
  • DA chairperson Ivan Meyer said the EFF will not be allowed to "disturb the peace in the Western Cape".
  • Steenhuisen says South Africans should reject politics of hate.

DA leader John Steenhuisen has challenged EFF leader Julius Malema, who recently threatened police officers, to forego the police protection he receives.

Steenhuisen and DA chairperson Ivan Meyer were participating in a webcast by the party, hosted by new DA spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube.

Malema said to EFF supporters in the Free State on Sunday: "If [the] South African Police want a fight, they must declare it. We will treat them the same way we treated them in the 80s (1980s). We will not only fight them in the picket lines, we will go to their homes and fight them in their houses with their own families. We are not scared of Police.

"We will come for you one by one at [sic] your own comfort zone. We will teach you that no can defeat the power of the masses. Not a policeman, not a police state, not a military state."

This, after police last week broke up an EFF protest outside the Brackenfell High School in Cape Town's northern suburbs with stun grenades and a water cannon.

Meyer said the EFF has no interest in "the politics of reason" and an agenda to divide.

'Disturb the peace'

"We will not tolerate the attacks of the EFF in the Western Cape," Meyer, who is also a MEC in the provincial government, said.

"We will not allow them to visit schools anymore."

He said learners are writing exams.

"We will not allow the thugs – because that's what they are, the EFF – to disturb the peace in the Western Cape."

READ | Malema's comments 'reckless', fall outside constitutionally protected freedom of expression - experts

Steenhuisen said targeting the police is very dangerous against the backdrop of police killings.

He said government and Parliament should start calling the EFF out on their tactics.

"It is time for us to stop mollycoddling the EFF," he said.

"I make a challenge to him today, if you believe what you say around the police not doing their job and being at war with you, I challenge you, Mr Malema, to give up you security detail that is provided to you by the state – you are the only opposition leader who has a SAPS security detail – I challenge you today, to give up your security detail," said Steenhuisen.

"If you're calling on the public to attack police officers, then I think that it is a disgrace that you yourself would be sitting with police protection, and expect people to attack the very people that you are relying on to be safe. And I think it is hypocrisy of the highest order."  

It was reported in 2018 that Malema is under police protection. Malema has also this past week shared threats he received, with very racist language, on Twitter. 

Steenhuisen said it is time for South Africans to reject the "politics of hate".

"We've had so much division in our past," he said.

The DA has been criticised as being blind to racial inequality, much to Steenhuisen's chagrin.

"Of course race matters in South Africa," he said. "For decades and decades, people have been discriminated against based on race.

"You're not going to undo the legacy of racism with more racism." He said the DA is a party that wants to bring all people together.

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