EFF leader Julius Malema will not apologise for shoving and allegedly swearing at a man in a Limpopo fast-food outlet, the EFF said on Thursday.
“The commander-in-chief will never apologise and the EFF stands firmly with him,” party spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
“Black dignity has long been degraded by centuries of slavery and colonisation. The EFF and all its members have a duty to make sure to confront it each time they see a sign of it.
“The case is therefore an attempt to protect racism and the racists. It is a case of the white racist arrogance of one individual now taking the form of a collective response.”
A Limpopo man, Cassie Moller, laid charges of assault, intimidation and crimen injuria at the Tzaneen police station, in Limpopo on Thursday.
According to a sworn statement and CCTV footage, Moller became involved in a confrontation with the Economic Freedom Fighters leader at the counter of a Steers outlet in Tzaneen around 2am on August 6.
“While I was looking in front of me, I felt a heavy slap on my back,” Moller said in his statement, read by AfriForum deputy chief executive Ernst Roets at a press briefing in Pretoria.
“When I turned around, there was a person standing very close to me and who asked me in a very hostile way: ‘Who do you think you are?'”
Moller said Malema called him a “boer”.
“He started telling us ‘get out, get out’ and he called me a ‘boer’ again. His tone of voice clearly showed his intention to use the word in a derogatory manner.”
According to the statement Moller said that at 2.45am he had asked staff why the two hamburgers his wife had ordered at 2.29am were taking so long.
Moller wanted a refund “as there was no indication that our order was going to be delivered”.
In the video Malema, accompanied by several men, enters and taps Moller on the back with the flat of his hand. Moller said he and his wife were surrounded.
“Malema continued to push me around and I continued to explain that I just wanted to ask for a refund and go home. I noticed that more people started flocking together and I became panic-stricken,” Moller said.
“I was especially concerned for my wife because I would not have been in a position to protect her from the group of men. It was a very intimidating situation.”
Moller said Malema became increasingly aggressive.
“He started shouting louder and swore at me in the words ‘fuck you, you boer. Fuck you’.
“He also said ‘I will fuck you up!’ He then pushed me hard.”
In the video, which does not have sound, Malema pushes Moller and points a finger him. Several men restrain Malema.
On Thursday, Ndlozi said the EFF was proud of Malema because he had “truly defended black workers who daily face abuse from both their employers as well as arrogant, racist and bullying white customers”.
He said Steers, which released the video footage, seemed to be siding “with racists of AfriForum to defend the drunk, arrogant and bullying racist white man who was abusing workers.
“Furthermore, it is questionable that they have released a selective portrayal of events.”
Roets indicated on Thursday that AfriForum Limpopo provincial co-ordinator Morne Mostert was helping Moller lay the charges.
Explaining why the charges were only being laid two months later, Roets said they had problems getting the CCTV footage.
“Initially the manager at the restaurant did not want to provide us the footage. The manager requested us to go the legal route and have our attorneys speak to her attorneys,” said Roets.
“The legal route was followed. We received the footage two weeks ago.” SAPA