‘Army should look for the powerful, not the weak’: Julius Malema on looting, Phoenix killings
EFF leader Julius Malema says alleged killers in Phoenix, north of Durban, are being handled with kid gloves by authorities at the expense of the poor and defenceless.
Malema told the SABC on Sunday he was shocked by the alleged conduct of the military in the area.
“Murder has been committed. We know where the guns are. The army should go where the guns are. The army should look for the powerful, not the weak. But, because our people are poor, they are an easy target. [President] Cyril [Ramaphosa] must be ashamed of himself and this ANC must be ashamed of itself.”
Malema was responding to racial tensions between the predominantly Indian community and neighbouring communities.
Parts of KwaZulu-Natal were gripped by violence, destruction of property and looting of businesses before the unrest spread to Gauteng.
The initial demonstrations that fanned the fires in KwaZulu-Natal were said to be linked to the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma three weeks ago.
Malema said the sight of law enforcement officials collecting looted food items has been unpleasant, claiming Ramaphosa’s government took food out of the mouths of the poor.
KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Kwazi Mshengu told Sunday Times Daily tensions were still high in the area as parents feared for the safety of their children when schools reopened on Monday.
“The Africans will obviously fear the attacks may continue and sections of the Indian population fear there might be retaliation,” he said.
During a national address on Sunday, Ramaphosa said the recent unrest was deliberate and co-ordinated to cause chaos in the two provinces. He announced the deployment of police and soldiers to safeguard potential hotspots in the two provinces.
“Recent events led to the loss of more than 300 lives, the looting of shops, warehouses and factories, damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of the country’s economy. To ensure order and stability are maintained, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, we have increased the deployment of police and military personnel.
“We have maintained this deployment in areas regarded as potential hotspots, as well as key economic and government infrastructure, shopping centres, warehouses and factories.”