Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says party leader Julius Malema did not fire a high-powered automatic rifle into the air at the gathering for the party’s fifth birthday celebrations in the Eastern Cape on Saturday, but rather that it was a toy.
Video footage emerged showing Malema firing what appeared to be a high-calibre automatic rifle, which has led to the EFF being criticised for promoting political violence, with the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) eThekwini Region calling for a probe into the matter and for Malema to be charged under the Firearms Control Act.
Providing clarity on the matter on Jacaranda FM, Ndlozi said: “It was not a real gun, it was a simulation which collaborated with the fireworks. We use it, and we always do, to evoke both the celebrations and the memory of the struggle of our past as black people in South Africa, so it’s not a real firearm, it’s not a firearm, actually, and no bullets were fired […] it’s a toy gun, it’s a toy.”
It was earlier reported that the party said their leader had been firing blanks at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, in the Eastern Cape, on Saturday.
This cannot be confirmed.
Watch the video below:
@Julius_S_Malema what is this rifle that you were firing at the @EFFSouthAfrica 5th Anniversary at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium during the After Party of Rally. Are you not indirectly promoting political violence ? #Politicalkillings #EFFTurns5 pic.twitter.com/YLoRvuUxiu
— Samkele Maseko (@samkelemaseko) July 31, 2018