NEWS

Mbalula: #BlackMonday Protests Hijacked By 'Hood Rat Racists'

The police minister slammed the protests for not taking into account all murders, especially those in impoverished areas.

01/11/2017 07:11 SAST | Updated 01/11/2017 07:11 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has lashed out at what he called "hood rat racists" whom he accused of hijacking the #BlackMonday protests for their own political agenda, Times Live reported.

Mbalula made the remarks during a debate on crime in Parliament.

"The racial superiority protest yesterday betrays the reconciliatory hand of the majority of our people," Mbalula said.

Mbalula reportedly said that over 19,000 people were murdered last year, with many of these crimes occurring in areas like Nyanga and Khayelitsha, where poverty played a role. He said that 74 of these murders happened on farms, and that "some of which were committed by those black shirts".

Hundreds of protesters took to the country's roads on Monday in protest over farm murders.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), #BlackMonday protesters criticised the police for not doing enough to stop farm attacks.

But police spokesman Vuyo Maga reportedly told EWN: "We are quite concerned about it. But blocking people's movements on roads does not help anything."

The protests came under heavy criticism as the old South African flag was seen at several gatherings.

The ANC condemned the use of the flag and what it called "racist behaviour" at the protests, and said that all murders were important, not just those of white farmers, according to Times Live.

In a statement on Monday, the police ministry called for the protests to be peaceful and warned against the blocking of roads.

But the road blockages went ahead anyway, and the police were criticised for taking a soft line against protesters, allegedly because they were white.

Mbalula admitted that this might have been the case.