Johannesburg - South African civil society organisations on Tuesday expressed deep concern over recent attacks on the state capture inquiry by the EFF.
This comes after EFF leader Julius Malema made various allegations about the Zondo Commission of inquiry into state capture which include; that the commission was "Micky Mouse Show" and that deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was presiding over a commission that was stealing from the poor by renting an expensive building to host the commission.
The group of organisations in a statement said while it is the first to recognise that a robust, healthy democracy requires competing views and protest, "expression and protest action that threatens violence and harm, that looks to flirt with racist and bigoted sentiment and with hate speech can only erode our constitutional democracy, not strengthen it".
"Repeated, unsubstantiated claims, in addition to being all of that mentioned above, reveal an agenda that goes beyond criticism of the commission. It smacks of a deliberate attempt to undermine it and the participants who are uncovering the web of state capture and corruption."
Civil societies further said that while processes of governance, including commissions of inquiry, should not be insulated from considered criticism, the EFF's threats not only placed witnesses who have testified before the commission and its officials in harm’s way, but would also have a chilling effect on any potential witnesses who may have information that could assist the commission.