EFF leader Julius Malema is receiving blue-light protection, police have confirmed.
National police spokesperson Vish Naidoo confirmed this to News24 on Tuesday, saying: “I can confirm that he is being protected by the SAPS (South African Police Service) but I can’t get into details for security reasons.”
Sowetan reported on Tuesday that Malema’s car had been “seen escorted by a white BMW sedan with blue lights in and around Parliament last week”.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told Sowetan that threats had been made against Malema.
“The police made their independent assessments and arrived at the same conclusion as we did – that is‚ his life is under threat,” Ndlozi reportedly said.
While Naidoo could not confirm that threats had been made against Malema, he told News24: “Anybody – it can be a civilian, a high-profile person – can come to us and tell us their lives are being threatened. We will do an assessment which will be provided to the national commissioner who will make a recommendation to the minister. Then the protection is granted on a three-month basis.”
Naidoo said VIP protection was rotational and was re-assessed every three months.
READ: EFF tightens security following Malema assassination claims
In April, the SAPS said it was looking into threats made against Malema. It said the threats were being viewed in “a very serious light”, News24 reported.
The EFF said in a statement on April 17 that it had “been alerted of nefarious and evil plans” to assassinate its commander-in-chief which originated from “insecure and insane individuals” in the North West.
The EFF also at the time increased its internal security following claims of “covert” plans to assassinate Malema, City Press reported.
Tebogo Mokwele, the EFF’s acting national spokesperson at the time, said the party had alerted the police after it received information that there were people in the province who had approached drug dealers and assassins in different provinces to assassinate Malema.
“The threats from this group of politically insecure and insane individuals are informed by the fact that the EFF is on the verge of politically defeating the ANC in the North West province, and other provinces in the upcoming general elections,” Mokwele said.
“These threats are real and should not be taken lightly because the North West is one of the provinces known for mysterious and unresolved political killings.”
She said this was not an isolated incident and cited threats from right-wing forces who she said used social media, private caller identities, and fake email platforms to make death threats against the party’s leadership.
She said the threats were largely linked to the EFF’s “uncompromising and decisive leadership” on the matter of land expropriation without compensation, as well as the party’s “relentless war against racism”, she said.
“The EFF has also worked on the strengthening of internal security because we are aware that cowards who have no convincing alternate political programme against the EFF are now resorting to thoughts of violent and fatal suppression of a genuine political alternative,” Mokwele said.