THE FU­TURE’S SO BRIGHT

The army will come, Malema warns

CityPress - - Front Page - S’THEMBILE CELE AND HLENGIWE NHLABATI news@city­press.co.za

In a brazen move, Eco­nomic Free­dom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has threat­ened to turn the army against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in a bid to force­fully re­move him from of­fice, a state­ment that could add to his woes as the gov­ern­ing party calls for his head by way of a charge of high trea­son.

A highly charged Malema yes­ter­day vowed that Zuma would leave of­fice be­fore his terms ends in 2019.

“Very soon, if gov­ern­ment is not aware, I’m whis­per­ing to you, Zuma, wher­ever you are, that those soldiers will turn their guns on you. Leave of­fice be­fore soldiers turn their guns on you,” he said to the crowd of more than 40 000 en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port­ers, who cheered Malema as he spoke about “fighters” re­tal­i­at­ing if pro­voked, at the launch of the party’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion man­i­festo in Soweto.

He claimed that the ma­jor­ity of South Africa’s mil­i­tary and po­lice ser­vice mem­bers were EFF sup­port­ers grow­ing im­pa­tient with Zuma.

“This is the army of Gen­eral [Siphiwe] Nyanda. I am warn­ing you Zuma,” Malema said of Umkhonto weSizwe’s last chief of staff. The mil­i­tary leg­end served as chief of the SA Na­tional De­fence Force be­tween 1998 and 2005 and was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously re­moved as com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter by Zuma in 2011.

Nyanda is one of the ANC vet­er­ans who broke ranks and spoke out against Zuma fol­low­ing the Con­sti­tu­tional Court judg­ment that found that Zuma vi­o­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion.

In a brazen move, Eco­nomic Free­dom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has threat­ened to turn the army against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in a bid to force­fully re­move him from of­fice – a state­ment that could add to Malema’s woes as the gov­ern­ing party calls for his head by way of a charge of high trea­son. A highly charged Malema yes­ter­day vowed that Zuma would leave of­fice be­fore his term ended in 2019.

“Very soon, if gov­ern­ment is not aware, I am whis­per­ing to you, Zuma, wher­ever you are, that those soldiers will turn their guns on you. Leave of­fice be­fore soldiers turn their guns on you,” he said to more than 40 000 sup­port­ers, who cheered Malema as he spoke about “fighters” re­tal­i­at­ing, if pro­voked, at the launch of the party’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion man­i­festo in Soweto.

He claimed that the ma­jor­ity of South Africa’s mil­i­tary and po­lice ser­vice mem­bers were EFF sup­port­ers and were get­ting im­pa­tient with Zuma.

“This is the army of Gen­eral Nyanda. I am warn­ing you, Zuma,” Malema said, re­fer­ring to Siphiwe Nyanda, Umkhonto weSizwe’s last chief of staff.

Nyanda served as chief of the SA Na­tional De­fence Force be­tween 1998 and 2005, and was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously re­moved by Zuma from his post as com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter in 2011.

Nyanda is one of the ANC vet­er­ans who broke rank and spoke out against Zuma fol­low­ing last month’s Con­sti­tu­tional Court judg­ment, which found that Zuma had vi­o­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Unperturbed that the ANC laid charges of trea­son against him, Malema fu­elled the fire, say­ing he was not scared of any­one, in­clud­ing State Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter David Mahlobo, who he called a “small boy” with a “big stom­ach” and a “min­is­ter of in­tel­li­gence with no in­tel­li­gence”.

Mahlobo, to­gether with Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko, said this week that the Hawks were in­ves­ti­gat­ing Malema af­ter re­marks he made to in­ter­na­tional broad­caster Al Jazeera that the red berets would re­move the gov­ern­ment through the “bar­rel of a gun” if the ANC at­tempted to sub­vert the elec­tions.

The two min­is­ters were sup­ported by ANC Youth League Pres­i­dent Collen Maine, who called on Zuma to un­leash soldiers on Malema for his re­marks.

Malema said that al­though the EFF wanted to prac­tise pol­i­tics peace­fully, it would be pre­pared to meet vi­o­lence with vi­o­lence if at­tacked. “We are not scared of you. We are not scared of the po­lice or a vi­o­lent state.

“We are ready to take you on any time. You will never

de­feat the power of a black na­tion,” Malema said, his voice break­ing with anger. He added that he slept peace­fully at night and any­one who wanted to ar­rest him should “ar­rest me here”.

The only wrong that he had done was speak­ing truth to power, he said.

“The ANC is led by clowns. You con­fuse the truth with trea­son. There is noth­ing trea­sonous here. If you come with vi­o­lence, we will re­spond to you with vi­o­lence.”

But Malema also took aim at the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC), say­ing that, along­side the ANC, it was the other foe that was con­test­ing against the EFF.

“I want to warn the IEC: be like the ju­di­ciary. You must be in­de­pen­dent. We de­feated the ANC in Gaut­eng in 2014 and you stole our votes. We are warn­ing you,” Malema thun­dered as he an­grily pointed his fin­ger.

The IEC has found it­self un­der im­mense pres­sure af­ter a Con­sti­tu­tional Court rul­ing that by-elec­tions in Tlokwe mu­nic­i­pal­ity, in North West, were not free and fair.

In 2014, there was a six-hour lull in the count­ing of votes in Gaut­eng that was un­ac­counted for, along with spoilt bal­lot votes found aban­doned – lead­ing to the de­ploy­ment of soldiers when vi­o­lence erupted in Alexan­dra town­ship in Jo­han­nes­burg.

Malema em­pha­sised that the EFF was a peace­ful or­gan­i­sa­tion that had been met with vi­o­lence, re­fer­ring to vi­o­lent clashes be­tween EFF mem­bers and se­cu­rity per­son­nel in Par­lia­ment. He added that the gun, which he wanted his fighters to have at the ready, was the EFF elec­tion man­i­festo, which he and his lead­er­ship held up in a poignant mo­ment at the end of his ad­dress as the strug­gle song Sen­zeni Na played in the back­ground.

“I am say­ing to you that this is your weapon, this is the gun I was talk­ing up. Take up this gun and go and shoot them,” he said.

The man­i­festo doc­u­ment is an am­bi­tious one, touching on a num­ber of com­mit­ments the party has made to its sup­port­ers. “There are no prom­ises that you will hear to­day. This is a con­tract – if we do not meet the con­di­tions in five years, vote us out,” de­clared Malema.

The party has com­mit­ted to free ba­sic ser­vices; trans­par­ent and re­spon­sive gov­er­nance; land ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion for hous­ing, recre­ation and agri­cul­ture; forc­ing busi­nesses to give 40% to the com­mu­ni­ties in which they op­er­ate to stim­u­late the lo­cal econ­omy; free Wi-Fi; and em­ploy­ment on the ba­sis of qual­i­fi­ca­tions and not political af­fil­i­a­tion.

Malema high­lighted that land ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion and the na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of mines re­mained the party’s pri­or­ity and was the most sig­nif­i­cant of the EFF’s seven car­di­nal pil­lars. “This is a so­cial­ist pro­gramme that is un­stop­pable,” he said.

The party started push­ing for their man­i­festo launch last year with the hash­tag #Fil­lUpOr­lando.

Soweto is a sig­nif­i­cant set­ting for the EFF, as the party of­fi­cially launched its found­ing man­i­festo in Soweto in 2013. When it headed to the polls for the first time in 2014, it suc­ceeded in se­cur­ing 6% of voter con­fi­dence.

TALK TO US Do you think Malema is cor­rect in call­ing his party’s man­i­festo a weapon?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word EFF and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

PHOTO: EL­IZ­A­BETH SEJAKE

COM­RADES EFF lead­ers Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema at the launch of the party’s elec­tion man­i­festo, held at Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto yes­ter­day

PHO­TOS: EL­IZ­A­BETH SEJAKE

TRI­UMPHANT TRIO EFF heav­ies Floyd Shivambu, leader Julius Malema and Dali Mpofu ac­knowl­edge the en­thu­si­as­tic crowd at Or­lando Sta­dium

SYM­BOLIC EFF mem­bers carry a cof­fin to em­pha­sise their call for Zuma to leave of­fice

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.