; Malema calls Zwelithini-AfriForum meeting ‘interesting!’ – The Citizen

Malema calls Zwelithini-AfriForum meeting ‘interesting!’

EFF leader Julius Malema is pictured addressing a press briefing at the party’s head office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg 14 February 2017. Malema announced that the EFF would no longer be participating in any debate in parliament  regarding President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address. Picture: Refilwe Modise

EFF leader Julius Malema is pictured addressing a press briefing at the party’s head office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg 14 February 2017. Malema announced that the EFF would no longer be participating in any debate in parliament regarding President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Others have not been as careful in their reaction to the meeting between the Boers and the Zulu leader, calling the king a sellout.

Despite being caught up in an appearance on Friday morning in the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court to face charges of incitement, EFF leader Julius Malema still found time to react to news that AfriForum and Solidarity met with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

He called it “Interesting!”

The Afrikaner groups had met with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini on Thursday and agreed to work together on issues of social importance, they announced.

CEO of AfriForum Kallie Kriel said this decision was made during their meeting with Zwelithini and his lawyer Jerome Ngwenya, the chairperson of the king’s Ingonyama Trust.

The king is the trust’s sole trustee.

Several points of mutual interest, Kriel said, were identified between the king and AfriForum, including the need for a good relationship among different cultural groups in the country based on mutual recognition and respect; a mutual concern about property expropriation without compensation; and the need for cooperation to build the local economy to benefit everyone in the community.

Malema and AfriForum have long been bitter political opponents, with the rights group dragging him to court, starting with his days in the ANC Youth League when they were able to successfully have him found guilty of hate speech for singing “Kill the Boer”.

Malema has in the past also found himself at loggerheads with the king, intentionally or not, to the point that some of his members in KwaZulu-Natal urged him to apologise. He refused.

In March, Malema criticised Zwelithini for allegedly fanning black-on-black violence with his statements about the expropriation of land without compensation.

Zwelithini said anyone who tried to interfere with the land under his jurisdiction would face the wrath of the Zulus in a war similar to that waged by the Israelis and Palestinians over Jerusalem. He added that Zulus were as attached to their land as Muslims were to Mecca.

His comments, made during the opening of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and later the provincial house of traditional leaders, sparked fears that Zulus could interpret it as a licence to attack those associated with land expropriation, particularly the EFF.

Malema warned Zwelithini to desist from threatening violence.

“The Zulu king must stop these threats of violence. We are not scared. I am scared of no one. No amount of violence can scare me because some of us are surprised that we are still alive today,” he said.

“Let us not talk war, let us not beat the war drum. We love the Zulu king, but we must discuss issues openly even if we disagree with the king.

“We have never promised war on the Zulu king. We have never promised war on the whites. No one is talking war here. We are saying let us have a peaceful engagement,” he said.

Malema said Zwelithini needed to be aware that any action that pitted blacks against blacks was unacceptable.

He also accused the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal of tip-toeing around the issue of land expropriation without compensation, despite the ANC national conference resolving in December to implement the policy.

He claimed this contradicted the ANC’s December conference decision.

The EFF, however, earlier this month had to make concessions to traditional leaders’ body Contralesa that they would rethink their policy of total expropriation of land, including of that already under the control of black people, particularly chiefs and kings. They also agreed to cooperate and continue with mutual task teams and dialogue.

In the wake of Zwelithini’s huge unhappiness at the recommendations of a parliamentary high-level panel that recommended that people in rural KwaZulu-Natal should be given title deeds and the laws around the Ingonyama Trust be done away with, President Cyril Ramaphosa personally travelled to see the king to reassure him that this would not happen.

Many analysts interpreted this as a sign that the ANC may be concerned about losing support in rural KwaZulu-Natal. However, another analyst said yesterday that the ANC is likely to lose significant support in the province anyway.

READ MORE: Post-Zuma ANC could be hit hard by evidence of ‘loss of support’ in KZN

While Malema was clearly constrained by realpoilitik to limit his response about the AfriForum-Zwelithini engagement, others on Twitter were less reserved.

Some, particularly EFF supporters, believe the king is consorting with “the enemy” and should be considered a traitor and a sellout.

Others, though, defended the king and his willingness to reach out to white people.

Coincidentally, others have been wishing the king a happy birthday.

 

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