POLITICAL NEWS - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have made a U-turn and laid charges against a 52-year-old woman who pointed a gun on Tuesday at members protesting outside a Clicks store in Walmer, Port Elizabeth.
On Tuesday, the woman and a number of EFF members were arrested, but once at the police station the two groups decided not to press charges against each other. They were all released and the woman’s legal firearm was given back to her.
However, the EFF on Wednesday issued a strongly-worded statement in which it warned “all racists and sociopaths” that they will “no longer practice restraint against their threats and provocations”.
It also “condemns in the strongest terms the psychotic white woman who drew out a gun against members of the EFF in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape while they were engaged in a peaceful protest against Clicks”.
According to the statement, the woman provoked peacefully demonstrating fighters and then pulled out a firearm.
“The fact that there has been no outrage at against the branding of a gun against unarmed black people reveals that black life in this country does not matter,” the EFF said.
“We commend our members for maintaining calm and restraint in a moment where their lives were being threatened. They exhibited the utmost discipline as instructed in the face of provocation, and this only proves that the EFF has had no intention of violence throughout our protests.”
“We urge all fighters and ground forces to meet any such threats of violence with double the violence and aggression. We cannot allow racists to openly threaten our lives without consequence, especially in a country of hypocrites who continue to condemn non-existent violence from the EFF while ignoring incidents of racists threatening black lives with assassination and guns.”
The “non-existent violence” doesn’t seem to apply in the cases of an eNCA journalist allegedly being harrassed by EFF members, or EFF MP Kenny Motsamai being charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest after an altercation at Evaton Mall on Tuesday.
“We wish to communicate to all ground forces and members that if they push you, push them back. If they attack you, hit them back with double the violence,” the statement said.
“The time of being passive with racists and violent people has come to an end. The lack of outrage and consequences against a deranged white-woman, who pulled out a gun in a public space, against a peaceful protest means that black people are not safe in this country. Next time our members will be shot, and racists will celebrate as they have been because there are no consequences for a threat to black life.
“We will now meet violence with double the violence because black people in this country cannot depend on law enforcement to protect them. One can only imagine what the headlines would have been had a member of the EFF pulled out a gun against a white person in this country.
“We call on all of our members to operate with the principle of self-defence. Should anyone push you, push them back, should anyone pull a gun on you, beat them until they cannot react in defence of your life.
“Let us continue to operate with the principle of peace, but should anyone put their hands on you, help them unite with their ancestors.”
Meanwhile, in spite of Clicks obtaining an interdict against the party barring it from intimidating staff and customers, EFF members were seen at stores around the country on Wednesday “to monitor and make sure that all Clicks outlets are not operational until the 12th of September”.
However, all Clicks stores were closed on Wednesday for employees to receive counselling and support, and would re-open for business on Thursday.