Malema plot: 'We are threatened every day'
EFF leader Julius Malema says Cape Town underworld figures were asked to kill him
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema says he received information that he was to be assassinated in a manner similar to that of North West businessman Wandile Bozwana, and believes that those plotting against him are “related to the ANC”.
Malema says he was alerted to the assassination plot by a “reliable source” within the state security services after Cape Town underworld figures sympathetic to the EFF rejected the assignment to kill him.
“Information was brought to our attention that there is a plot by some people in the North West. These people are related to the ANC.
“We have got names of the people championing it in the North West. We got names of the person who was asked to engage the underworld in Cape Town,” said Malema.
He said he discussed the matter with both Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole, and handed over the information to them. Officials from the police crime intelligence division also met with Malema on Wednesday.
“They are conducting their own investigation and assessment,” he said.
“I will be opening a case so that police have got a case number to make a follow-up.”In an interview at the EFF headquarters on Wednesday, Malema said he is regularly threatened through phone calls, e-mails and messages via social media, including by supporters of former president Jacob Zuma.
“We are being threatened every day, particularly when it comes to the land question. There are extreme right-wingers who threaten us but we never take them serious … We take it that we all react differently to different political positions. Perhaps they don’t know politics and they are being personal and emotional about the whole engagement.
“I got calls about (Zuma’s) removal, including telling me that I should not set my foot in KZN,” Malema said.
“Funny enough, I even got calls when I was engaging with the current president in parliament. I thought his supporters were a bit different and sophisticated to appreciate that it’s a discourse, especially the way me and him engage to a point that it is not hostile,” he said.
He said the threat he received this week was taken seriously “because the source is so reliable”.
“The source happened to be in the security cluster of the state,” said Malema.He said he did not want to believe that the threat was related to the EFF’s motion of no confidence against Premier Supra Mahumapelo, “but that is the only thing currently happening in the North West”.
He said tensions were heightened by the South African Communist Party in the province saying that their MPLs would vote in support of the EFF motion.
“We have now asked for a secret ballot. So the levels of desperation in the province are extremely high,” said Malema.
“In the information we received, they say they want to do it the Bozwana way,” he said.
The North West businessman died after he and his business partner were shot at while traveling Pretoria in October 2015.
“His killing was associated with the dynamics in the North West,” said Malema.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said he found it worrying that his organisation’s name was drawn into the assassination allegations without being “backed by facts”.
“The allegations are being presented as if the ANC sat in a meeting and formulated an opinion. The ANC is against anyone putting anyone else’s life under threat because of views that they hold. We have a responsibility to protect life. The name of the ANC is drawn into something that has nothing to do with the ANC,” said Mabe.
Asked whether the ANC had asked its North West leaders about the matter, Mabe said: “It is difficult to engage on allegations without substance. We have got law enforcement agencies. If there are names attached to the information, they may as well go to next police station. We cannot react to conspiracies.”