IFP Youth warn ‘chatterbox’ Malema

2009-02-05 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party Youth Brigade has challenged the ANC Youth League president to come and campaign in Nongoma, the IFP’s stronghold, saying that once he is there he will be taught “what happens to a loud-mouthed chatterbox imbecile like him”.

At the same time, IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi called on Malema to “withdraw this politically ill-advised outburst” with immediate effect.

“If Mr Malema fails to do this we will have no option but to refer his statements to the Human Rights Commission for action,” he said.

The IFP Youth Brigade commented: “Julius Malema talks too much. We urge him to hurry up and come to Nongoma immediately. We don’t care if Malema comes accompanied by 600 policemen. We assure him that it will be the last time he ever shoots his mouth off at the IFP.”

These not-so-veiled threats were carried in a statement issued by IFP MPL Thulasizwe Buthelezi, who was responding to statements made by Malema outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday.

Malema told thousands of ANC supporters that the ruling party will campaign everywhere in Nongoma, including the back yard of Buthelezi, and added that the party will recruit the IFP leader’s children into its ranks.

Malema’s comments came just a few days after incidents of violence and intimidation were reported in Nongoma, where both the ANC and the IFP held rallies just a few kilometres from each other on Sunday.

Four ANC members, including an MP, were shot in the area at the weekend, allegedly by IFP members.

Five other ANC members were injured after IFP supporters stoned buses ferrying ANC cadres to the party’s manifesto rally on Sunday.

The weekend’s incidents, said the IFP, are “a Sunday-school picnic” compared to what would follow if the ANC “continues to provoke, insult and harass the IFP and its leader,” said Thulasizwe Buthelezi.

The MPL said he views campaigning by the ANC in the IFP leader’s back yard as a provocation of the IFP membership.

“It is an act of extreme provocation — if the ANC provokes us, then it must expect a reaction. We promise Malema and the ANC that our reaction will not be mild,” he declared.

The ANC Youth League was defiant in its response to the IFP’s threats, saying it will not be intimidated and will campaign freely in every community and household.

“No amount of intimidation will prevent us from campaigning everywhere in South Africa, including in Nongoma and every household in all the communities we visit,” said ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu.

“If we visit the households of leaders of opposition parties, we will freely canvass for their votes and persuade them to vote for the African National Congress.”

The ANC Youth League said it will complain to the Human Rights Commission because it views the IFP statements as an incitement to violence.

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