Mbeki must go, Malema tells crowds

2008-08-04 00:00

AFRICAN National Congress (ANC) Youth League president, Julius Malema, yesterday accused President Thabo Mbeki of orchestrating the prosecution of ANC president, Jacob Zuma.

“We are in this trouble because of Thabo Mbeki and his people. This problem was started by Mbeki,” he told thousands of Zuma supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court after the ANC president’s court appearance.

He continued: “Mbeki is a coward, he is dealing with his own comrades and they do not want us to tell you that”.

Malema then called for Mbeki’s head saying he should make way for a Zuma-led government.

“Mbeki must leave now and Zuma should become president now. The only way to solve that problem is to have an early election. Whether they like it or not, we are not going to leave Jacob Zuma here in court but we are going to carry him all the way to the Union Buildings,” he said to wild applause.

Young Communist League national secretary, Buti Manamela, echoed Malema’s sentiments saying that Zuma’s was a political trial and that some in the ANC were out to get him.

“Jacob Zuma did not fight for the liberation of this country only to be humiliated by his own comrades and former comrades. As the youth of this country we will not stand aside and watch when our leader is taken to jail for crimes he did not commit. If we did that we will be betraying the spirit of June 16.”

Other Tripartite Alliance heavyweights also addressed the crowds and called for the charges against Zuma to be withdrawn.

ANC Women’s League president, Angie Motshekga, said the process of investigating Zuma was “flawed” and that therefore the outcome of the trial can also be expected to be “flawed”.

Zwelinzima Vavi, the general-secretary of Cosatu, lambasted the NPA and the media for its handling of the Zuma probe and court appearances.

Vavi accused the NPA of “employing” the media and using it to launch a “media trial” against Zuma.

He also lambasted the prosecutions authority for “leaking” information pertaining to investigations into Zuma to the media saying that the NPA had by doing that subjected Zuma to “kangaroo court style” prosecution.

SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande spoke out against suggestions that Zuma was stalling his prosecution by bringing applications to have the trial declared unlawful and by questioning some aspects of the investigations.

“The media and their analysts should have a clear understanding of justice. It [justice] does not begin when you appear before a judge but it starts when you are being investigated. Appearing before a judge is only an end product of that process,” Nzimande said.

Zuma also addressed his supporters whom he thanked for being by his side. “I have never been afraid of anything in my entire life. I was one of those people who were prepared to die for the country’s liberation, its justice and judiciary. But even those involved in the judiciary should learn to respect it,” he said.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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