The Jewish Board of Deputies has hit back at Julius Malema after the controversial EFF leader claimed Jews were training snipers to kill black people.
“Julius Malema’s comments are in line with what has become typical of his attention-seeking behaviour. His constant singling out minority groups in our country is aimed at creating racial tension. This is a real pity because we are at a time in our history where we need to be conscious of the dangers of inflammatory words. What we need now, more than ever, is for our politicians to show leadership and not divisiveness,” the group said in a statement issued on Facebook.
Malema made the claim at a media briefing yesterday saying, “They will kill us for that. There’s a group of white right-wingers who are being trained by Jews in Pretoria to be snipers.”
So far no evidence has emerged to back up his claims.
Controversially, he said that these snipers are being trained by “Jews.”
The mention of Jewish people has been widely slammed, with some saying it amounts to hate speech.
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies spokesperson, Charisse Zeifert, said that the organisation has chosen not to respond to the matter further as it is just “typical Malema creating mischief,” and doesn’t deserve any more airtime.
She added that “It doesn’t matter if its Jews or Indians or Afrikaners, we can’t have a politician engaging in racial incitement.”
Malema’s comments about Jews are currently facing a strong backlash on social media, with some saying that his comments constitute hate speech and others even comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
This is by no means the first time Malema has been accused of hate speech.
A judge found him guilty of the crime in 2011 for leading his followers in singing Dubul’ iBhunu, which translates as “Shoot the Boer.”
In 2017 the South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) filed hate speech charges against him for saying that “Indians are worse than Afrikaaners” at the EFF’s fourth birthday celebrations in Durban.
This year, he made controversial comments about Indian people again, telling a Youth Day rally in the North West that he believes the majority of Indian people are racist.
And, in March, the DA announced that they would be reporting Malema to the Equality Court on hate speech charges for allegedly saying, in reference to Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip, “We are going to remove a mayor of PE … we are going for your white man in PE. We are going to cut the throat.”