File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Bheki Cele needs to act on Julius Malema’s threat to our police officers

By Aakash Bramdeo Time of article published Nov 27, 2020

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OPNION - FINALLY, someone is taking note of what Julius Malema is saying. That person is Bheki Cele, our Minister of Police. Cele was “disgusted” by Malema’s threat over the weekend to attack the police and their families at their homes. Cele reassured South Africans that such threats would not be taken lightly.

But Cele needs to do more than talk. He needs to institute criminal action against Malema. Our police, however imperfect, protect our democracy. An attack on them is an attack on every South African.

Malema turned against the police after they used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons to keep the peace in Brakenfell, a suburb in Cape Town. Last week, the EFF staged a protest outside the high school claiming it was racist.

Now, the City of Cape Town wants the EFF to pick up the costs of damages that were caused by the protestors. This includes a fire truck that was set alight as well as roads and traffic lights that were damaged.

Perhaps it is time that cities asked the organisers of protests for a deposit before allowing a protest. It is unfair to expect ratepayers to pay for something they often have nothing to do with.

eThekwini has had its fair share of protests. In the past few days the so-called Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association embarked on a fresh wave of attacks on shops owned by foreigners. They blame foreigners for most of South Africa's problems, including the lack of jobs.

The protest came days after President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted an investment conference to encourage foreigners to set up shop in South Africa or expand the business they already have here.

Based on what’s happening in the Durban city centre, don’t expect the promises of billions of rand to become a reality.

In the past few days, attacks on trucking companies have intensified. The motive is apparently to stop foreign nationals from taking jobs away from locals.

But, as the Road Freight Association has pointed out, South Africans are also being killed. So, what then are these protests really about? According to the association it is part of a plan to destabilise the country. It has written to Ramaphosa to alert him to this danger. We are sure that our president will be shocked. Hopefully, it will also spur him into action.

The one person who is pushing forward despite efforts to slow him down is Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

He has asked that a criminal charge be opened against Jacob Zuma after our former president walked out of the commission Zondo chairs. Zuma had been summoned to appear and by leaving without permission faces a fine or jail time of six months.

But, Zondo didn’t stop there. He said the commission would approach the Constitutional Court to ask for an order compelling Zuma to respect the summons and provide the information the commission has asked him for.

What Zondo has made clear is that everyone is equal before the law.

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