EFF leader Julius Malema File picture: Mark Wessels/Reuters
PARLIAMENT - The South African Police Service (SAPS) had already started doing a threat assessment following claims by the Economic Freedom Figthters (EFF) that an assassination plot against its fiery leader Julius Malema was afoot, MPs heard on Thursday.

National police commissioner Khehla Sitole was speaking during a meeting of Parliament's portfolio committee on police, where EFF MP Phillip Mhlongo warned him of the assassination of SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani in 1993, which almost plunged the country into civil war.

"I'm raising this because these people coming up with these, maybe they haven't actually done their homework.thinking that by killing Julius Malema they can just solve the problem," said Mhlongo.

"Unfortunately, those who have it in this country will lose everything because black people really are tired of being given an empty dummy of freedom. Black people want real, substantive freedom. They are justified in that."

Sitole assured Mhlongo police would protect Malema.

"It will not be necessary for the honourable member to protect Mr Malema. The police will do it and we also wanted to allay his fears and the only thing we can confirm is that a formal threat assessment has already commenced in this particular matter," said Sitole.

"I would like to end it there because I don't want to expose the vulnerabilities in terms of this."

In a statement this week, the EFF said a group of "political insecure and insane individuals" in the North West had approached assassins to kill Malema because the EFF was on the verge of defeating the ruling party in next year's general elections.

African News Agency/ANA