Malema faces crim­i­nal charges

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - TANKISO MAKHETHA

BUSI­NESS rights watch­dog AfriBusi­ness yes­ter­day laid crim­i­nal charges against EFF leader Julius Malema for al­legedly in­cit­ing vi­o­lence.

Or­gan­i­sa­tion spokesman Ste­fan Pi­eterse said it was prompted to lay charges af­ter Malema warned at a me­dia con­fer­ence in Jo­han­nes­burg on Thurs­day that busi­nesses in Pretoria should close on Novem­ber 2 as vi­o­lence may erupt when Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han has to ap­pear in court.

Malema al­legedly said mil­i­tary ac­tion might be nec­es­sary and the EFF could not guar­an­tee the safety of busi­nesses in Pretoria on that day. “Dur­ing a me­dia brief­ing at Braam­fontein, the leader of the EFF Mr Julius Malema in­cited the pub­lic to vi­o­lence.

“He told the me­dia that Pretoria will shut down on Novem­ber 2 and told busi­ness own­ers in Pretoria to not come to work be­cause it will be dan­ger­ous,” Pi­eterse said out­side the Lyt­tel­ton po­lice sta­tion mo­ments af­ter lay­ing crim­i­nal charges against Malema.

“He said that mil­i­tant ac­tion will be needed for the ANC to lis­ten and this con­duct is un­ac­cept­able – it’s crim­i­nal. Mr Malema is no­body to de­clare Novem­ber 2 as a pub­lic hol­i­day. He does not have au­thor­ity.”

The busi­ness watch­dog laid four charges of in­cite­ment to pub­lic vi­o­lence, in­cite­ment to pub­lic vi­o­lence and in­jury, in­cite­ment to ei­ther com­mit crim­i­nal as­sault or qual­i­fied form of as­sault and in­tim­i­da­tion in con­tra­ven­tion of sec­tion one of the In­tim­i­da­tion Act.

Pi­eterse said they were act­ing on be­half of 7 220 mem­bers af­fil­i­ated to AfriBusi­ness, whose re­spon­si­bil­ity it was to en­sure their se­cu­rity.

“We are man­dated to look out for our mem­bers so we will get pri­vate se­cu­rity on standby on Novem­ber 2.

“We want busi­nesses to be opened. It is with tax money that busi­nesses pay for peo­ple like Mr Malema to get their salaries,” he said.

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