The Democratic Alliance (DA) strongly condemns the EFF’s incitement of violence and the resultant malicious destruction of property with regards to Clicks stores countrywide and calls on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to take immediate action. We will lay charges of incitement to violence and destruction of property against the EFF and more especially it’s leadership as made public who would welcome rioters at certain malls.
We recognize the upset and anger the Clicks advert has caused to many South Africans however the EFF’s violent response is unacceptable and SAPS has a duty to act against Julius Malema and others who have made explicit statements inciting EFF members to commit criminal acts.
In the Notice of Motion application brought by Clicks’ to stop the EFF process, it explicitly stated that SAPS should respond to any calls from Clicks’ stores where EFF members are intimidating or threatening staff or damaging property and disrupting businesses.
The DA will write to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, to ask what steps they will be taking against Julius Malema and the EFF’s incitement to violence. We can never allow individuals and political parties to commit such horrific acts of vigilante violence and if SAPS fails to respond with decisive action they will be in dereliction of their duty.
This is not the first time that Julius Malema and his quasi-revolutionaries have called for violence and the destruction of property in the name of justice.
The EFF’s call to violence and destruction of property will affect the livelihoods of thousands of Clicks employees who will bear the brunt of this destruction.
This is especially concerning given the tumultuous economic situation most people are facing after the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown. The destruction of stores will only mean that South Africans who have already been left vulnerable due to the lockdown will be put under further financial strain should they lose their jobs if these shops have to be closed permanently.
The EFF claims to represent the interests of the marginalised and economically excluded, however whenever they organise protests mass destruction and violence follows in the wake. The EFF also never takes responsibility for the negative impact their actions have on the lives of vulnerable South Africans and those who they claim to represent. They much prefer to blame the inevitable fall-out on anyone or anything else.
The DA will be submitting evidence of the EFF’s violent behaviour and malicious destruction of property to SAPS and will put pressure on the National Police Commissioner to ensure that Julius Malema and his thugs are not given special treatment.