Cele’s reaction ‘a performance of outrage’, says EFF in defence of Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Jacques Nelles

‘Police must never be regarded as immune to confrontation and activism, should they make it their duty to brutalise those who stand for justice,’ said the party.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have hit back at Minister of Police Bheki Cele, after the minister called on police to protect themselves following statements made by the party’s leader Julius Malema while addressing his supporters in Mohokare Municpality in the Free State on Sunday.

Malema said he wasn’t scared of police, describing them as “cowards” after police clashed with EFF members who were protesting in Brackenfell, Cape Town, on Friday.

Cele condemned Malema’s statement, saying the “threats” would not be taken lightly.

Meanwhile, the EFF defended their leader, saying his words were taken out of context, while also accusing Cele of “hypocrisy and “a performance of outrage” .

“In what can only be described as hypocrisy and a performance of outrage, Bheki Cele and the police and Prisons Civil Rights Union [Popcru] have taken the commander in chief’s [Malema] condemnation of police brutality against protesters out of context, to present an image of a threat to law enforcement in the country from the EFF. It is a blatant lie and manipulation of the facts.”

READ MORE: EFF members arrested during Brackenfell protests released

The EFF said since it was founded, it had long held a stance against police brutality within the country.

“This can be traced back to our inception when we stood against the massacre of mineworkers in Marikana, who were shot and killed execution style by a South African Police Service [SAPS] that has an uncontrollable desire for the blood of black people.

“We stood against SAPS when they were brutalising student activists who were making a genuine call for free education during the #FeesMustFall era.”

The EFF further said it did not recognise law enforcement who unleashed violence on unthreatening civilians and “treat black people differently and harsher than white citizens”.

“We ask Bheki Cele what line has been crossed and who drew it? When was this line drawn?

“Where was this line he speaks of when Andries Tatane was murdered by police? Where was his line when the mineworkers of Marikana were shot in cold blood, and no one was held accountable?

“Where was the condemnation of the self-glorifying Popcru when police were being shoved around like children at Senekal and Brackenfell by white racists?

The party continued, saying it would reject the subjective morality of Cele and Popcru.

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“Police must never be regarded as immune to confrontation and activism, should they make it their duty to brutalise those who stand for justice.”

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