Zuma pays tribute to Peter Mokaba

2013-09-16 09:02

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Former ANC Youth League firebrand leader Peter Mokaba has been hailed by President Jacob Zuma as a hero and disciplined leader.

The late Mokaba, a former deputy minister and an MP in former president Nelson Mandela’s Cabinet, became famous for his controversial slogan, “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer”. Zuma said Mokaba was “vibrant”and “ready to say what he thought”, adding that all this was done within the ANC’s discipline framework.

In his capacity as the ANC Youth League president, Economic Freedom Fighters’ Julius Malema had often been likened to Mokaba for his reckless, forceful and provocative public utterances. Malema had also often referred to Mokaba’s political character whenever he described the kind of the youth he wanted to lead.

Zuma, who was once quoted as having endorsed Malema as the future leader of the ANC, calling him a “leader in the making” before the pair’s fallout, said Mokaba led from the front, listened and helped others do the right thing.

The ANC leader earlier yesterday visited the Mokabas’ family home in Mankweng where the militant former youth leader was born in 1959.

He later visited Mokaba’s grave, where he delivered a short speech in the late leader’s honour. Mokaba died in 2002 after some illness.

His brother Ernest Mokaba remembered him for his other famous slogan, “Roar young lions, roar!”, which he chanted forcefully at political gatherings.

“If you don’t roar (the way Mokaba) did, then you did not know him,” he said.

The visit to Mokaba’s home was part of the youth league’s 69th anniversary celebrations programme. The league chose Seshego Stadium in Malema’s neighbourhood for the event.

Former youth league presidents Malusi Gigaba and Fikile Mbalula attended the events. The absence of Malema was notable. The youth league said Malema was not invited like other former leaders because he had been expelled from the ANC.

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