Motlanthe raps fans

2012-03-26 00:00

TZANEEN — Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe publicly rebuked his supporters yesterday after they had arrived at a Limpopo rally wearing ANC T-shirts emblazoned with his face and the message “Kgalema for president”.

He shared a stage in Tzaneen with youth league president Julius Malema, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Limpopo Premier Cassel Ma­thale, who are part of a faction within the ANC who want Motlanthe — not Jacob Zuma — as ANC president.

A fortnight ago Motlanthe’s aides reportedly told weekend newspapers that the deputy president would throw his hat into the ring and challenge Zuma for the ANC’s top post at the party’s elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Motlanthe yesterday admonished rally goers not to hero worship leaders or wear T-shirts depicting his face and the message “ANC president”.

“What will you do if I discredit that name with my deeds and words? Rather honour the ANC, not individuals. The organisation is far bigger than individuals.”

In his speech Motlanthe said the ANC could not rely on its past, but had to remain relevant to solve the problems of today.

Motlanthe said the ANC did not need a passive youth league, but one that was militant, creative and resolute, and could generate new ideas. He stressed, however, that while the ANCYL was autonomous, the ANC needed to intervene if people lost their way.

“We lead you all the time. That is our duty and responsibility.”

In his speech, Malema changed his tune and announced that he would indeed take the ANC to court for his expulsion from the party.

Said an angry Malema: “When I go to court I will not be undermining any resolutions and the constitution of the ANC as I will not be a member of the ANC.”

Malema, who has appealed his expulsion from the party for sowing division in its ranks, previously said he would never consider taking the ANC to court.

Yesterday he said he had no other choice.

“I had made a commitment earlier that I will never go to court, but from the way these issues are unfolding I’m left with no option but to challenge a faction in court because the decisions are taken by a faction.

“I do not need the mandate of the youth league to do that because I am going to act as an individual. I’m an individual who has been victimised, his rights violated,” he said.

Malema said he had been the victim of factional agendas within the ANC: “I have no nightmares.

“I have not been chased away from heaven, I’m chased away from a political party and I’m chased away by a faction that enjoys legitimacy because it is in power and it is implementing factional agendas through that power.”

He said he had no regrets about what he did while president of the youth league.

“I want to tell you today, I will never be welcomed in the ANC. I’ve been fired in the African National Congress.

“A decision has been taken to fire me, it was announced by the president of the ANC in a breakfast show of New Age that the youth league must elect a new president. I have no problem with that.”

However, Malema urged the crowd not to abandon the ANC, calling it the only hope for the country’s poor.

He reminded the crowd that while individuals would come and go, the ANC would continue.

Of the corruption charges investigated against him, he said he had never worked for the government.

“I never stole from it, nor did I have the power to award tenders. I never stole from anyone. What I have, I worked for.

“I was not chased away from the ANC because I raped someone, but because I took a principled stand …” It was reported yesterday that arrests in connection with tender irregularities in Limpopo were imminent.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Independent reported that the ANC’s national executive committee had ordered a probe into the controversial outcome of the ANC’s Limpopo elective conference in December, where Mathale was re-elected chairperson and Malema was voted onto the provincial executive committee.

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