The EFF’s claims that they were aware of an attempt on leader Julius Malema’s life, which they said in a statement resulted in the alleged assault of a plain-clothes police officer by EFF MP Marshall Dlamini as an act of “necessary self-defence”, were met with scepticism from parliament and on social media.
Police minister Bheki Cele’s office has now confirmed that they did indeed have information on such an attempt – although they can’t say who provided this information or when they received it, TimesLive reports.
According to the EFF’s Veronica Mente, meanwhile, the party reported the threat to parliament “before Sona”, adding that the assassination plot had been an “issue since last year”.
“I can confirm that the ministry of police has received information on a threat on the CIC of the EFF [Malema],” spokesperson for the ministry of police, Reneilwe Serero, told TimesLive.
“I can only confirm the office receiving the threat, As for the timeline, I am not at liberty to say,” she added.
The EFF seem to have gone public about the alleged assassination attempt for the first time on Friday, in a statement that partially used the plot on Malema’s life as justification for the alleged assault, captured on video, of a parliamentary “white shirt” by EFF MP Marshall Dlamini.
According to the EFF, the alleged assassination was counting on the EFF being thrown out of parliament, like in the past year, which did not happen.
However, the party did not stop being suspicious, which is why they attacked the parliament security officer in “necessary self-defence”.
“We are told that the Parliamentary Security Service has been infiltrated by these groups and targeted the occasion of the Sona to execute the assassination. They hoped that the EFF caucus would be kicked out of the house using parliamentary security. The anticipated evil acts would then be carried out during this moments of chaos.
“When Malema and the EFF leadership were unreasonably stopped by these white shirts in parliament, after the house had been adjourned, we all thought this was the moment and reacted with the necessary self-defence. The event of a white security man in black and white, being pushed and clapped in the face, followed him violently pulling Malema from passing through the corridor doors of the national assembly.”
The party implicated members of the police in the plot, saying they had been hired to assassinate Malema because of his stance on land expropriation without compensation.
“The security threat implicates elite members of the police, who are in collaboration with right wing groups to take the life of Malema in an attempt to undermine the advances on the expropriation of land without compensation discourse that will soon be law.
“We must put it on record that according to the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of the members of the Parliament Act, section 7(c), no one is allowed to obstruct MPs in the precinct of parliament from going anywhere to do their work. It is illegal and those who do security in the precinct should be well aware of these provisions.
“The EFF is not moved or intimidated by these reports of a security threat,” the party said.