Left: Julius Malema speaks at a media conference in Johannesburg. (Sapa)
Johannesburg - The ANC said on Friday the Freedom Front Plus campaign against Julius Malema could lead to the youth league leader's execution.
"As the ANC, we draw the conclusion that it (the campaign) is meant to incite, instigate and mobilise some people to harm and even lead to the execution of the ANCYL president," said ANC spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi in a statement.
"The campaign is meant to incite the South African populace, particularly the Afrikaner community, against the president of the youth league. It poses a danger to the personal safety and security of (Comrade) Malema."
The FF Plus launched a "Prosecute Malema" campaign on Thursday, according to its parliamentary spokesperson Anton Alberts.
Email, website campaign
The campaign consisted of the gathering of signatures via email and through a website where a protest letter could be signed. These would be presented to President Jacob Zuma to pressurise the ANC into taking disciplinary steps against Malema.
The ANC said: "The Freedom Front Plus's repeated lie that a song sung by the ANC Youth League president on various occasions has led to death of some farmers, is a clear deliberate ploy on their side to mobilise the farming community and their next-of-kin not to hesitate in causing harm to the youth league president.
"It is our view that if the Freedom Front believes in their own lies, they would have approached the law enforcement authorities and reported such.
"Their failure to report this matter is indicative that even the Freedom Front does not believe in what it claims."
Likened to Chris Hani assassination
The ANC said it would approach the Equality Court over the matter, because it viewed the campaign as indicative of hate speech meant to endanger and pose a threat to the well-being and safety of Malema.
"We have already instructed our lawyers to file papers with the Equality Court on this matter, with immediate effect."
Its concern had to be seen in the light of the assassination of SA Communist Party general secretary and ANC national executive committee member Chris Hani by "right wing elements" in 1993.
'No understanding of farmers' safety'
FF Plus chief whip Corné Mulder it was ironic that the ANC had laid a charge against the party's campaign because they were worried about Malema's safety.
"It shows no real understanding for the thousands of farmers who have already been murdered in South Africa or about the safety of farmers."
Mulder said the objective of the campaign was not at all to jeopardise the safety of Malema, "but in the interest of South Africa and good relations prevent him from continuing with his racial incitement performances".
About 200 supporters of AfriForum, a human rights organisation, gathered at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, in Newtown, Johannesburg on Friday morning, carrying posters and occasionally chanting: "Stop Malema".
Their placards read: "Stop Malema", "ANC: Kill the Boer... Words can Kill", "Malema has blood on his hands" and "Malema; a champagne sipping racist".
AfriForum has drawn up a list of 1 600 people murdered on South African farms in recent years, to show that Malema's recent singing of "shoot the boer" could have consequences.
Malema sang it at his birthday celebration in Polokwane and at a student gathering in Johannesburg earlier in March.
Oh my! I seem to have uploaded the wrong photo - too late to change it now.....