Never listen to veterans who are ignored by their own party, EFF leader Julius Malema told his supporters in Zamdela, Sasolburg, in the Free State yesterday.
He was referring to the ANC’s use of veterans such as Ahmed Kathrada and Kgalema Motlanthe to campaign for the party in the upcoming local government elections.
“They are so desperate, they even went and asked Winnie Mandela to endorse them.
“Can you really ask your own party member to endorse you?” he said.
Commenting on the uncertainty around whether former president Thabo Mbeki would campaign for the ANC, Malema said Mbeki was refusing silently, saying to the ANC “when you recalled me, you said you will manage without me”.
“[President Jacob] Zuma and them are failing because they lack leadership skills, hence they are recycling leaders.
“They don’t understand the current challenges faced by South Africans. The recycling of leaders by the ruling party is also a sign they are scared,” he said.
He added that the ANC was still blaming today’s challenges on apartheid.
“During apartheid, the ANC used to complain about PW Botha and others because they were relevant at that time, but we are now crying about Zuma.
“You must never be scared and think if the ANC is gone, the country will go down. We are ready to govern, we are ready to take the whole of the Free State.”
Malema said the ANC had died and been buried with Nelson Mandela.
“This is no longer the ANC of Mandela, [Oliver] Tambo and Chris Hani, and you must not feel ashamed for not voting for the ANC because that party is now rotten.
“This thing [the ANC] is dead and, come August 3, we will not be burying it but we will be unveiling the tombstone of the ANC,” he said.
Malema spent a lot of time lambasting Zuma.
“The only thing that big head knows is money and women. While he is singing and dancing there, he is doing it for a reason. He is scouting for a woman,” Malema mocked.
He urged locals to continue campaigning for the EFF and to vote for his party. He said that the remaining nine days ahead of the August 3 municipal polls were “crunch time”.
Meanhwhile, there was still no word from the office of former president Thabo Mbeki on Saturday over whether he would join other ANC veterans in canvassing for the ruling party, however ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile said it might still happen.
Mbeki’s spokesperson, Mukoni Ratshitanga, declined to elaborate on the matter to The Citizen, but later released a statement.
“We have nothing to add to what the ANC has said,” Ratshitanga said. “We agree with what the ANC has said,” he added.
The ANC’s Greater Johannesburg region this week denied that Mbeki was not keen to campaign for the ANC.
“It is therefore mischievous to suggest that comrade Mbeki is not keen to campaign for the ANC,” ANC branch spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said in a statement.
The Sunday Times reported that Mbeki had made a point of reassuring the ANC that he was still a member. Ratshitanga said in his statement that Mbeki was still a member “in good standing”.
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe reportedly already said two weeks ago that Mbeki had no interest in campaigning for the ANC. Mashatile remained confident that “should there be an opportunity for him to come up and join one or two activities”, Mbeki would, but they would “wait and see”.