South Africa 1.8.2018 07:59 am

Malema under fire for ‘assault rifle’ shots at birthday bash

Picture: Twitter screenshot

Picture: Twitter screenshot

Even EFF members have criticised the behaviour, though some have accepted the explanation that real bullets were apparently not used.

A video that emerged on Tuesday night of EFF leader Julius Malema firing what looks like a high-powered automatic rifle into the air at his party’s fifth birthday celebration gathering in the Eastern Cape on Saturday has generated damnation as well as limited support.

The party told News24 that their leader had been firing in “simulation” at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

This cannot be confirmed. Had it been live ammunition, it would have been illegal, since firing blindly into the air in a built-up area carries the risk that the bullets will descend and unintentionally strike someone.

Others have also criticised the EFF for promoting political violence. After firing the gun, Malema high-fives a laughing advocate Dali Mpofu, the party’s chairperson.

Even some EFF members have, however, questioned the behaviour, with those who defend their commander-in-chief appearing to do so primarily by accepting the explanation that the shots were not real and fired in “simulation”.

News24 identified the man Malema hands the rifle to as Bluff security company owner Adriaan Snyman. Snyman denied being “aware of anything”, which casts doubt on whether it really was a pre-planned simulation.

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) eThekwini Region wants the police to probe Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) leader Julius Malema who is seen in a video clip firing a gun in the air at a rally.

The eThekwini ANC Youth League wants Malema charged under the Firearms Control Act.

“It is the considered view of the ANC Youth League that this behaviour was unsafe, irresponsible and was also in contravention of section 120(7) of the Firearms Control Act of 2000,” said the league on Wednesday in a statement attributed to eThekwini region spokesperson Thulisa Ndlela.

“We, therefore, call upon law enforcement agencies to investigate this conduct. Even for a morally compromised fellow like Julius Malema, such conduct is unacceptable and must be condemned.

“The ANC Youth League is concerned that such a public display of reckless behaviour will undermine the efforts made in fighting violent crime in our society.”

Political reporter Samkele Maseko asked Malema on Twitter if he wasn’t indirectly promoting political violence, but Malema is yet to respond.

Many others have thrown in their two cents though.

 

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