Julius Malema, who faces expulsion from the ANC, said some leaders had become arrogant on power given to them by the masses and warned against another Polokwane elective conference, which led to the recall of the country’s former president, Thabo Mbeki. “Never be ahead of the masses,” said Malema to a cheering crowd of youths.
“When leaders believe that they know who we will vote for, you must know that those leaders are now power-drunk. But we must remember Polokwane (where Zuma ousted Mbeki), because some leaders who were arrogant and thought they had power then, were admitted to hospital because they were traumatised by the outcome.”
Before Malema addressed the crowd, Northern Cape ANCYL chairman Shadrack Tlhaole saluted Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as leader, and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula as secretary-general of the ANC.
Speaking to a highly charged crowd of more than 3 000 league members from various parts of the Northern Cape, Malema lashed out at ANC leaders who thought that they would be elected to lead the party at its national conference in Mangaung in December.
Although he started off his almost two-hour-long speech with reference to the Mangaung conference, Malema became more animated when he spoke about the purpose of the lecture and the need for the youth to defend the Freedom Charter, which he described as the ANC’s bible.
“Some members of the ANC do not know what the Freedom Charter is… they have not even read it.
“The Freedom Charter is clear that the people shall share in the resources of the country, but there are some leaders… who were bribed by mining houses with shares and a R10 million annual dividend.
“These leaders think that they are eating on behalf of us all. Some of them are even proud of being connected to the owners of these mines, while they do not even have documents showing that they own the mine. This is not in line with the Freedom Charter and we must defend it,” Malema said.
He said that leaders in the party had to stop being personal, as his criticisms of the ANC was not aimed at personalities but were focused on policies.
“When we criticise the ANC, we are criticising ourselves. We are criticising the policies of the party because ANC policies are not an individual’s policies or family policies,” he said.
Malema reiterated that former ANC presidents, including Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela, didn’t expel youth league members who raised dissenting views in the party. “(Some years ago) president Mandela never expelled the former ANC Youth League president Peter Mokaba when he said that he wanted to break down IFP flats (in Joburg) brick by brick.
The media had urged the party’s leaders to discipline Mokaba, but the elders knew that young people needed to be guided in the right direction, Malema said.
He once again called on the ANC to give youth league leaders who faced disciplinary action the opportunity to give their side of the story. Referring to the ANC’s disciplinary action against him and other league leaders, Malema said that the party could not punish its children for being active.
Malema said that when a child was “messed-up”, the parent had to help him or her.
“We criticise the ANC, we criticise ourselves and no one should take it personally,” he said.
Turning to unemployment, Malema said that the youth had a responsibility to restore the ANC, in line with the Freedom Charter.
He said that the youth should fight for the nationalisation of mines and the expropriation of land without compensation. “You can’t punish the child for being active,” he said. “But even if he is not, you cannot throw him or her away, or lock him or her in the house, because he or she is still your child,” Malema said.
He told the gathering that the ANC was formed for economic freedom owing to land-grabs by settlers.
“The rest (voting rights) came afterwards, but fundamentally it was about economic freedom and unity of Africans,” said Malema. – Pretoria News