The Civil rights group AfriForum opened a case of incitement of public violence against leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Monday, this follows the vandalism of the international clothing stores H&M in South Africa.
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“We filed charges today against three members of the EFF leadership, that is Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. It is regarding incitement of public violence, among others [it’s] about these incidents we have seen at H&M stores across the country,” AfriForum deputy chief executive Ernst Roets told reporters at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria.
It is allegedly the EFF that trashed H&M shops at Sandton City and Menlyn Mall and other parts of Gauteng.
“We are particularly concerned with this case, this complaint, because people were actively encouraged to use violence, and to commit crimes during protest action. That is something that should be taken very seriously, especially given that these claims of incitement were made by very influential political leaders.”
Roets of AfriForum said that there has been progress regarding previous cases opened against the EFF.
“We have opened various cases in the past, and we have seen some of the cases having gone to court, among others a case we filed against Malema earlier about incitement of trespassing and encouraging people to engage in land grabs. There is a court case at the moment about that,” he said.
“So we have seen progress in some of our complaints, but we have also noticed that the criminal justice system can take very long in some cases. We hope that this matter, [regarding H&M protests] will be dealt with as soon as possible. In the past some of these cases have taken very long.”
Roets reported that Brooklyn police had indicated that the AfriForum complaint will be elevated to provincial law enforcement.
“We are confident that we do have a strong case. It’s quite clear cut that these people [EFF leaders] were encouraging violence through social media.”
The international clothing giant H&M – Hennes & Mauritz AB – which is a Swedish multinational retail company was involved in a race row the past week when a photo depicting a black child modelling in a sweatshirt with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle”, sparked widespread outrage and a stir up on social media.
Thousands of customers called for a global boycott after the racially offensive advert, but the EFF allegedly took it in their hand to trash the stores.