South Africa 17.7.2018 10:34 am

Dali Mpofu suggests EFF will boycott Obama’s Mandela lecture

EFF leader Julius Malema is seen on stage before addressing the gathered crowd outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, members of the EFF gathered to protest the Israel government and Apartheid against Palestinians, 2 November 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

EFF leader Julius Malema is seen on stage before addressing the gathered crowd outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, members of the EFF gathered to protest the Israel government and Apartheid against Palestinians, 2 November 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Mpofu replied to a tweet by the EFF communications manager that suggested the fighters would boycott the lecture, and instead attend the public hearings on land.

EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu’s tweet on Tuesday suggested the party would boycott former US president Barack Obama’s Nelson Mandela lecture.

Obama is expected to deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Illovo, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

Responding to a tweet by EFF national communications manager Sixolise Gcilishe, Mpofu said the EFF would boycott the lecture because Obama had allegedly been complicit in the killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and because the former US president would meet President Cyril Ramaphosa, whom Mpofu accused of being behind the murder of Mgcineni ‘Mambush’ Noki.

Noki was at the forefront of the Lonmin strike in Marikana that resulted in the tragic fatal shooting by police of 34 striking mineworkers, including Noki, on August 16, 2012.

At the time of the Marikana Massacre, Ramaphosa was a nonexecutive director at Lonmin who had communicated with then police minister Nathi Mthethwa and former mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu to beef up police presence at the mine in the wake of the violent deaths of two Lonmin security officers days before the massacre.

The Marikana commission of inquiry, appointed by former president Jacob Zuma to investigate matters arising out of the massacre, however, was of the view that Ramaphosa had not been the cause of the fatal shootings on August 16, 2012, and so could not be found guilty of the alleged crimes.

Mpofu had represented the injured and arrested mineworkers at the commission, and had argued that Ramaphosa had played a central role leading to the killing of 34 mineworkers by state police.

Gaddafi was captured and killed on October 20, 2011.

The tweet by Gxilishe the EFF chairperson was responding to said while the governing party would attend Obama’s Mandela lecture, the EFF would continue in its endeavour to ensure land is returned to those dispossessed of it.

The Constitutional Review Committee’s public hearings on the possible amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation resumed on Tuesday, with EFF leader Julius Malema being part of the committee’s delegation in Taung in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality, North West.

The Citizen could not confirm with Mpofu whether the Twitter account and the comments shared on it were his. Attempts to reach Mpofu on his cellphone led to voicemail after several rings.

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