JULIUS MALEMA ON ZUMA’S FUTURE
A record 26.3m South Africans – or nearly 77% of all eligible citizens of voting age – are registered to vote in the municipal elections on 3 August. This year’s elections are historic for other reasons too: firebrand Julius Malema and his Economic Freedo
local government is at the coalface of community and individual interests and should provide quality services, jobs, safety, primary healthcare and “all other basic necessities” to citizens, Julius Malema, commander-in-chief of the EFF, writes in his opening remarks to the party’s municipal elections manifesto. His party, which got 6.35% of the vote in 2014’s national elections, will be contesting municipal elections for the first time and is aiming to double the votes it got in the national elections.
As part of this strategy, the EFF has launched about 3 900 branches across the country since it was founded in August 2013, and will be contesting all 278 municipalities.
Speaking at a recent Daily Maverick conference in Midrand, Malema shared some of the EFF’s election promises ( see sidebar), as well as his views on a range of topical issues. Here is Malema in his own (shortened) words:
On land reform:
At the core of our struggle, what started the ANC was as a result of land dispossession. Mandela went to prison for land, Sobukwe was killed for land, Steve Biko was killed for land, Chris Hani was killed for land. They were not killed because they wanted to become politicians with air- conditioned offices. The l and question is non-negotiable. We stand for expropriation without compensation.
On Jacob Zuma:
As long as Zuma is the president, corruption will never stop. As long as Zuma is the president, the Guptas will continue to capture the state. But I can tell you here now: Zuma is extremely powerful. At least in the ANC. Zuma, if he wants to be the president of the ANC, will be the president of the ANC for the third time and no one will stop him.
On taking up arms:
I’m not going to start any violence; the EFF is not a violent organisation. There isn’t a single EFF member who has been killed by another EFF member fighting for positions. In the ANC, people kill each other for positions. We don’t have that. All we’re saying is that we have no cheek to offer anymore. We will fight.
The ANC stole elections in Alexandra [in the 2014 elections, when ballot papers were discovered in a shack prompting allegations of vote-rigging and resulting in violent protests]. They had to send in the army. I had to drive from Polokwane to Pretoria to accept the outcome so we could calm the situation in Alexandra. It is not going to happen again. They steal the elections; we will meet them on the streets.
If they are fighting, we will fight with everything we have. State violence will be met with violence.
On the role of the private sector:
When we squeeze the private sector, it is to say, “You too have a responsibility to contribute to the development of this country.” We’re not pushing anyone out. We’re saying you ought to play a more constructive and developmental role in this country. We are looking for partnerships. Accept that the state is here to walk with you to rebuild this economy.
We want coalition of the opposition, not [ just] the DA. We won’t go into a coalition with the ANC, because we’ll be undermining our people. Remember that any municipality where the ANC gets less than 50% of the vote, the people are saying, “We don’t want the ANC.” If you go into coalition with the ANC, you are undermining those people.
On white privilege:
We are here to crush white dominance. We are here to create an equal society. Saying I hate white supremacy is not the same thing as saying I hate white people.There has to be a deliberate programme to empower black people. I present a non-racial organisation but we do not fight for white people. Why? Why should we fight for them? What do white people want? They want to remain in a position of privilege and we are rejecting that. There is no white person who is going to remain in a position of privilege. We must all be equal. And in bringing the equality, we have to take liberal decisions to empower the less privileged to get to the same level as those with privilege.
On service provisioning:
We need to empower the poor masses of our people, and the rich and the privileged ones should be at the forefront with government subsidising the poor. We are saying provide free services for the poor, not for everyone. Politicians must stop sitting on their minds; they must think how to generate income without squeezing the poor. Instead of spending money on a park that nobody uses, rather give a community a clinic that will operate 24 hours. Instead of building bicycle lanes in Sandton, give the people of Alexandra water. The money is there; the priorities are messed up. We are going to prioritise the needs of our people.
Instead of building bicycle lanes in Sandton, give the people of Alexandra water.
President Jacob Zuma