3 minute read
18 Jul 2014
7:06 am

EFF ready ‘to work’ – Malema

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) sitting in Parliament were more concerned with raising people's issues rather than dressing in fancy clothes, party leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. File Picture: Michel Bega

“We are not there for clothes, but to work.” Malema said.

“Others are drowning in debt looking like they are on a ramp… In the opening of Parliament, others dress like they are going to a matric dance,” he said in Sepedi.

He was speaking at a public lecture at the University of Limpopo’s Medunsa campus situated in Ga-Rankuwa outside Pretoria that was attended by thousands of people, mostly dressed in the party’s red regalia.

Malema and other MPs from his party defied the legislature laws and have continued to attend sittings dressed in red overalls and domestic worker uniforms.

“Maybe if they see us in ordinary clothes, they’ll be reminded that these are the people we are representing.

“Parliament is made to look like some heaven where ordinary people are not acceptable,” he told the approving audience.

“We are changing that.”

He said the leader of the Gauteng legislature had criticised them for wearing their attire, claiming the legislature was “not a garden”.

Malema said it seemed he had forgotten that it was ordinary garden boys that placed him in that position.

Earlier, he told the audience that as the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, late former president Nelson Mandela was ready to kill for this country.

“You don’t take up arms and go and kiss people,” said Malema.

“You pick up arms to kill… Madiba was ready to kill for this country.”

He called on the youth to follow in his footsteps.

“Mandela said aluta continua – the struggle continues. He was talking about the economic struggle,” said Malema.

He said he was not against the ANC.

“I raised some of these issues while in the ANC and I won many debates. They decided this one is troublesome. He must go,” said Malema.

He said he was, however, against the fact that the African National Congress pushed the National Development Plan which would not benefit the people.

Speaking in English and Sepedi, Malema told them they had been fooled into believing they had benefited from the new, democratic South Africa.

“Twenty years into democracy but many young people see flushing toilets for the first time when they come here (university campuses),” Malema said.

He said in rural areas, government gave people dry taps and at times water pipes but they failed to give people actual water.

When government mentioned their progress however, they counted people with these things as people who had been given water.

Malema said: “They raise your hopes up high… It’s better to know that at all, you don’t have.”

He touched on the country’s economy, and dismissed the positive outcomes of the black economic empowerment.

“Black people who are in business with white people are economy security guards,” Malema said.

His comment was met by loud applause and laughter.

“They are protecting the interests of white people,” he said.

He claimed people like Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe were some of those who were “economy security guards.”

Malema said Ramaphosa’s alleged role in the Marikana shootings was a testament to his role of protecting white men’s money.

Police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking mine workers, in a clash at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in Rustenburg on August 16, 2012.

Ten other people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

Ramaphosa, a Lonmin shareholder at the time, was alleged to have requested police to act to end the strike action.

Malema went on to say if Motsepe really owned all those millions, he would have made a difference in the lives of people.

The crowd sang in approval: “Julius Malema, there’s none like you.”

University students and the public attending the lecture were then allowed to ask Malema questions.

– Sapa