'Poor' Malema uses helicopter to 'be everywhere like the Holy Spirit'

2014-04-13 17:58

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Moments after pleading poverty in front of several thousands of his supporters, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema hit the skies in a helicopter, heading to his next rally.

Malema told EFF supporters at the University of Venda sports grounds in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, today that his party was broke.

“We’re an organisation with a zero balance in the bank but our rally looks like that of people with money. We live on donations but our rallies are well attended. We don’t have money; we have nothing but imagine if we had resources and could afford to give all of you T-shirts and berets. This whole campus would be painted red,” he said. “We’re an organisation of orphans; an organisation of poor but loving people.”

While he was addressing the rally, a helicopter hovered over the venue, preparing to land. Malema continued to speak despite the noise. He later apologised for the disturbance.

“I want to apologise for this chopper, which was disrupting out meeting. I think someone called these people to come here and that is disrespectful. Don’t call choppers to places where there is a meeting; you must learn to respect our meetings. So for that I am very sorry,” he said.

Malema said this, only to be seen boarding the aircraft minutes later, leaving dust on the ground as thousands watched it take off.

After his speech, Malema was taken to the sports stadium next to the open field where he was addressing the rally. Many flocked there and climbed walls to get a glimpse of Malema’s helicopter behind the stadium walls.

Malema had earlier attended two church services in Thohoyandou and only arrived at the university after 1pm for a rally that was set to begin at 11am. His next stop was Jane Furse in the Sekhukhune region more than 300km away. The Jane Furse rally was set to start at 2pm but Malema only left Thohoyandou after 3pm.

Perhaps trying to explain the helicopter even before it arrived, Malema had earlier apologised to his supporters explaining that he had been to church, still had to be in Sekhukhune, and in Joburg for a 6pm meeting, saying the programme was being rushed because “we have to be everywhere like the Holy Spirit”.

Before coming to Limpopo today, Malema had a hectic schedule in the Eastern Cape, which ended last night after rallies in East London and Mthatha as well as meetings with former president Thabo Mbeki’s mother, Epainette, and controversial abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

Read: Juju: I’m very sorry, MaMbeki

Just five days ago, former ANC Youth League leader and current sports minister Fikile Mbalula and Young Communist League secretary Buti Manamela addressed a small group in comparison to the EFF gathering today, at the same university. Malema said this was a sign that the EFF had already won.

Read: Speakers at Chris Hani lecture preoccupied with Zille, Malema

Before his speech, Malema chanted: “Down with African national criminals, down!” He then moved on to President Jacob Zuma and accused him of “stealing from the poor”.

He also accused Zuma of bringing South Africa down from being Africa’s economic superpower. “Under Nelson Mandela and Mbeki South Africa was number one [and now] under Zuma we’re number two. Zuma may fool you with his big head and you’ll think it’s full of ideas. It is empty [and] all it thinks about is marrying,” he said.

He encouraged his supporters to vote EFF for “change”. “If you are not voting for EFF you are voting for swimming pools of politicians. Zuma took R2.5 million that was meant for you and built a swimming pool. I really can’t understand what a 72-year-old man is doing with a swimming pool. Imagine Zuma and his wives in swimming costumes,” he said.

“He stole money for unnecessary things. He built a R1 million kraal when you don’t have houses. If you vote for Zuma you’re voting for a cattle kraal. They chose animals over you; they love animals more than people.”

He urged his supporters to go “out there and work for victory”. “It is possible. It might look impossible until it is done [and] once it is done we’re all going to look back, laugh and reminisce over the days we used to struggle and hold rallies with no T-shirts. At that time we shall be wearing T-shirts,” Malema said.

“If you want change, it starts today. I have changed my vote. We have long been running with this Zuma; he can’t trick us for the second time; once bitten twice shy.

“He’s a liar and we know what kind of a person he is. We don’t want someone who loves his family more than the whole nation. When you wake up on May 7 you must say: enough is enough. Let is punish corrupt politicians,” said Malema.

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