Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has warned that should the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) be deployed to support police as they battle against protesters in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, his party will involve themselves against government.
The EFF condemned “incompetent and useless” President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, saying that he has failed to handle the situation that has led to widespread violence and looting after supporters of incarcerated former President Jacob Zuma began rioting over the weekend.
MALEMA CONDEMNS SANDF DEPLOYMENT
In a tweet sent out at lunchtime on Sunday after it was confirmed that the SANDF will be deployed to Gauteng and KZN to support the South African Police Service (SAPS), Malema directed EFF supporters to “be ready” to assist rioters.
“No soldiers on our streets! Otherwise, we are joining. All fighters must be ready… they won’t kill us all. We need a political solution to a political problem, not soldiers,” he said.
No soldiers on our streets! Otherwise, we are joining. All fighters must be ready… they won't kill us all. We need a political solution to a political problem, not soldiers.#NoToSoldiers
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) July 12, 2021
In a statement released earlier in the day, the EFF said that the distressing scenes unfolding around the country on Monday are the result of the ruling party having failed to
The EFF has observed the complete incompetence and uselessness of Matamela Ramaphosa, in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread uprisings that have resulted in violence and looting in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng stem from “factional warfare within the political party, and have now turned into rolling mass-actions by thousands of poor South Africans”.
“At no single moment has he attempted to engage the masses of people he purports to lead within his own political party and the people he claims to be a President of,” they said.
“Instead, he continues with his dictatorial tendencies, of adjusting when South Africans can sleep, suppressing political dissent and running the country behind a television screen.”
RAMAPHOSA URGED TO ENGAGE WITH RIOTERS
The EFF called for Ramaphosa and his government to take a different approach to resolving the violence, saying that he should engage with the protesters instead of deploying the SANDF.
“We call for the leadership of the country to engage in peace-making efforts in Kwa-Zulu Natal primarily,” they said.
“The situation in Kwa-Zulu Natal requires stakeholder engagements at a ground-level, not self-centred addresses on television where no questions are allowed.”
“Without this, the country must expect protests to spread and continue, as the hunger of our people will not disappear because of empty condemnations from individuals who are detached from reality.”