Malema refuses to debate DA ‘tea girl’

2011-05-20 14:28

ANCYL leader Julius Malema today refused to take part in a televised debate with DA MP and spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko because she was “a tea girl”.

“I was never asked to debate Lindiwe. She’s a nobody. She’s a tea girl of the madam (Helen Zille). I’m not debating with the service of the madam,” he said.

After seeing Mazibuko at e.tv’s set at the IEC’s results centre in Pretoria, Malema told ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu that “he is not going to do this”.

“I’m not going to lose our profile,” he said.

Mazibuko, who said she had been on set for over an hour, was asked to leave and give way to Malema because he felt the debate would “promote her profile”.

“He’s not even an elected public representative. I was there for an hour,” Mazibuko told reporters. “It’s ridiculous!”

She said it was “shocking” that the media and South Africans tolerated politicians who didn’t have the courage to defend what they stood for.

“What is Malema offering us besides sensational headlines?”

Malema accused Mazibuko of not knowing politics, saying she joined the DA because she was “bored with her job”.

“I was born into politics from nine years old; she wasn’t,” Malema charged.

Asked if it was because he didn’t want to debate with a woman, Malema said: “Me and beautiful woman, we don’t collide.”

DA leader Helen Zille accused Malema of simply running scared.

Zille said Malema knew he was going to lose against Mazibuko, “let alone to a woman”, and that is why he refused to debate with her.

“Well, he’s terrified isn’t he? Jacob Zuma has always refused to debate with me. He will never ever debate with me and we’ve challenged him. Radio stations have asked him, TV channels have requested him to be in a debate with me, but he refuses.

“I don’t know any democracy where the leader of the governing party refuses to debate the leader of the official opposition. It doesn’t happen, and if it did happen, the voters would vote out that leader very quickly because he’s not willing to put his policies to the test.

“Now you have Julius Malema taking that exact example. A debate was set up by e.tv, he arrives there, sees Lindiwe and he refuses to debate with her – just like President Jacob Zuma refuses to debate with me. His arguments will be annihilated,” Zille said.

She said Malema went against everything the ANC stood for, and said the party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, was “facing a serious dilemma”.

“Julius Malema has painted the ANC as a racial, nationalised, sexist party,” Zille said.

She said Malema was holding the ANC to ransom. 

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