The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said that it will report the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema and the red berets’ member of parliament (MP), Nazier Paulsen, to parliament’s ethics committee “over tweets inciting violence”.
The tweets the DA took issue with followed the violent protests outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Tuesday.
Farmers were protesting outside the court, where two suspects appeared in connection with the murder of 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.
On Wednesday, Malema tweeted a video of the farmers attempting to get to the suspects in the court’s holding cells, with gunshots being heard in the background.
In his caption of the video clip, Malema called on “all ground forces and peace-loving South Africans” to attend the next court appearance of Horner’s murder accused “since the government of [President] Cyril Ramaphosa is extremely scared to respond decisively, we are on our own”.
The DA’s chief whip, Natasha Mazzone, however, took issue with Malema’s last sentence of the caption, which reads: “Magwala a chechele morago [Cowards, move to the back]! Fighters attack!”.
Since the government of @CyrilRamaphosa is extremely scared to respond decisively, we are on our own. Next appearance, all ground forces and peace loving South Africans will be in attendance, in defence of our democracy and property. Magwala a chechele morago! Fighters attack! pic.twitter.com/HIddc4gOV3
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) October 7, 2020
Mazzone said Paulsen’s tweet which would be reported to the ethics committee is a picture of a machine gun captioned “get ready!”
Get ready! pic.twitter.com/12DrnozYby
— Nazier Paulsen (@NazierPaulsen) October 6, 2020
Mazzone said these tweets “appear to incite violence”.
“The DA condemns these tweets for what they are – a blatant attempt by the EFF leadership to recklessly incite even further violence at this time. This type of behaviour is deplorable, especially coming from members of parliament who have a responsibility to uphold the rule of law and the principles which underpin our constitution.
“We call on peace-loving South Africans not to take cues from people who thrive on hate and division. South Africa finds itself in an increasingly fragile and volatile state and to overcome this we need strong and united leaders.
“Any person who incites violence and encourages the destruction of property should be apprehended and condemned. We cannot allow anyone who stirs up violence among our people to go unchallenged.
“The DA urges the ethics committee to investigate both Malema and Paulsen’s tweets and conduct. For a party that has thousands of followers on social media, such conduct is highly irresponsible,” Mazzone said.
The two accused are expected back in court on 16 October.
A 52-year-old farmer was arrested on Wednesday following the violent protest outside the court on Tuesday.
Police said the farmer will be charged with malicious damage to property and public violence and will appear in court soon.