Police probing public violence charge against Malema

Two police detectives visited the offices of the trade union on Monday this week to discuss obtaining further affidavits, deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann confirmed on Thursday.

Last month Solidarity laid criminal charges against the expelled ANC Youth League leader and the matter was transferred to Springs police. Hermann said he believed a team from the Hawks and police detectives were working on the case.

"The police officers wanted some new affidavits from us," said Hermann. "Our members want to work and [Malema] said he is going to lead a mining revolution. It is quite clear it will mean violence."

Solidarity said it had more than 20 000 members working in the mines and one of its members was set alight in the early stages of the Marikana violence. Another had his jaw broken while a third was hospitalised for injuries he sustained during the unrest at the mines.

"The threats to our members are very real and there is no political agenda here," said Hermann. "People have been threatened and they fear for their safety."

Malema was back visiting the mines this week, this time speaking to striking miners at the Meloding stadium in Virginia in the Free State. During this visit, Malema reportedly said unions had become sell-outs. "You have a right to stand on your own."

Inciting miners
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) had been compromised, the Times quoted him as telling the miners. "It is now NUM Pty Ltd, a private company", he said.

Malema told the Mail & Guardian he did not believe that he had been inciting the miners.

"I made a political analysis when I said that NUM was compromised because of its business interests. What was inciteful about it?"

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka could not be reached for comment.


Hermann said that under tense situations, like the ones playing out at the mines, Malema's actions had threatened its members' safety and security of employment.

"Malema's actions – by calling the mines to be made ungovernable, for a mining revolution and for strike action – contribute to the instigation of illegal strike action and also prolongs ongoing illegal strikes," he said.

During the recent Lonmin strike, Solidarity's members were unable to go to work, due to fear for their safety.

'Serious revolution'
Solidarity believes the actions of Malema contribute to the labour unrest in the mines and criminal prosecution might assist in stopping him from further similar actions in future.

In his affidavit handed to police, Hermann said when Malema called for a nationwide strike and for a serious revolution, he knew public violence and intimidation stemmed from strike action.

"His calls for a nationwide strike and for a serious revolution in the mining industry is therefore incitement to public violence and intimidation," he said.

Incitement is punishable by law, said Hermann, and it was Solidarity's opinion the incitement by Malema had already resulted or may result in crimes. These should be viewed in an "extremely serious light".

While Solidarity accused him of incitement for saying he wanted to start a mining revolution, Malema said he did not know this union. By saying he wanted to start a mining revolution, he had simply meant radical change was needed.

"We have often called for a South African revolution, but that does not mean we are calling civilians to arms. It means radical change is needed," he said.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

‘Tenderpreneurs’ block the delivery of protective equipment to schools

Protests by local suppliers have delayed PPE delivery, which according to the DBE, is one of the reasons the reopening of schools has been pushed back until June 8

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing
Advertising

Press Releases

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday