31/05/2017 07:35 SAST | Updated 31/05/2017 07:35 SAST

Malema Warns SACP That Mapaila Is Under Threat, Party Confirms Family Threatened At Home

"The [SACP] condemns in the strongest terms possible the rascal, lumpen proletariat, their handlers and funders."

Thulani Mbele/Sowetan/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has confirmed that the lives of deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila and his family were threatened on Tuesday.

"The [SACP] condemns in the strongest terms possible the rascal, lumpen proletariat, their handlers and funders who organised transport earlier today [Tuesday] to the home of Cde Solly Mapaila... to threaten him in the name of 'hands off Zuma'," national spokesperson Alex Mashilo said in a statement.

"This legacy of President Jacob Zuma, the so-called defence for Zuma, is no longer merely anti-intellectual and mediocre," Mashilo said.

Mashilo said people were dressed in the name of 'MK Foundation' and were accompanied by cameras from the Gupta-owned television channel ANN7.

In April, the SACP claimed that a gunman threatened Mapaila at the Chris Hani commemoration in Ekurhuleni.

The party referenced a News24 video to support their claims.

In the video, a man in the marquee can be seen holding what the party believes is a gun. He is among a crowd of people who booed Mapaila when he took to the stage at the Thomas Nkobi cemetery, where Hani is buried.

Standing a few metres from the podium, the man is seen wielding the item and then putting it down while Mapaila was trying to address the crowd.

Mapaila had been calling for Zuma to step down.

He previously said the party had started negotiations when they realised that the Gupta family was taking over the running of the country through their relationship with Zuma.

However, Mashilo said the party's central committee would discuss measures regarding Mapaila's safety and the safety of the entire SACP leadership.

"But one thing is certain. No one will threaten the SACP into cowardice."

On Monday night, EFF leader Julius Malema tweeted a warning, saying that the party should increase Mapaila's security detail, as the "the old man is not happy at all with him & anything is possible".