Johannesburg - Punches are being thrown at all politicians
in a "boxing match" ahead of the 7 May general election, EFF leader
Julius Malema said on Thursday.
"We are in a boxing match. There are going to be
punches thrown at all of us," he told Sapa in response to an open letter
by Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie.
"I shouldn't be bothered by this. As we come closer to
election day it will get worse."
Malema declined to comment on the contents of the letter.
"I have nothing to say... I don't think the matter
deserves my attention."
McKenzie wrote a scathing letter to Malema on Wednesday,
describing him as the "biggest thief" he had ever met.
"You get two kinds of politicians in this country - the
ones who come from prison and those who must still go to prison. You belong to
the latter," McKenzie wrote.
"I may be an ex-thief, but you are a present-day thief.
You, particularly you, cannot be calling all white people in this country
He claimed Malema's intention was to bankrupt the country.
"You are like a man who steals a cellphone and then
goes back to his victim to ask for airtime... You bankrupted the ANC Youth
League. You bankrupted Limpopo. You bankrupted yourself. Now you want to
bankrupt what’s left of South Africa."
McKenzie went further to say Malema was a "false
"You are the modern-day Nongqawuse," he wrote.
"There was no one there in 1856 to warn our people against that false
prophet. Somebody needs to have the courage to warn us against you."
Nongqawuse was a teenage girl who had a prophecy that the
Xhosa in the Eastern Cape should slaughter their cattle, many of which were
sick, and not cultivate crops, because the oppressive British settlers were
going to be swept into the sea and their ancestors would rise bringing new
healthy cattle and crops.
The prophecy did not come true, leading to extreme hardship
in the area.
McKenzie wrote: "I’m not scared of you. But I am scared
of what will happen to this country if our young people don’t realise what you
are before it is too late."
Malema, a former ANCYL leader, was expelled from the ruling
party in 2012 for sowing divisions and bringing the party into disrepute. He
then started the Economic Freedom Fighters.
He faces fraud and corruption charges related to a R52m
contract awarded to On-Point Engineering. The State alleged that Malema
substantially benefited from the tender payment to On-Point, using it to buy a
farm and a Mercedes-Benz.
It said Malema's Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect
shareholder in On-Point. His case is due to be heard in September in the Limpopo
High Court in Polokwane.
In March, The Star reported that charges against four of his
alleged business associates had been dismissed. Malema had made representation
to the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) to have the charges
against him dropped. The NDPP had yet to make a decision.
Malema is also trying to settle his tax bill with the SA
Revenue Service to avoid being barred from Parliament.
On 10 February, Malema was provisionally sequestrated by the
North Gauteng High Court. Malema and anyone else who did not want the order to
be made final had until 10:00 on 26 May to give reasons as to why this should
On Thursday, The Star reported that Malema was disappointed
by the letter.
"As African brothers, we must stand by each other,
despite differences. But if, after writing the letter, he is going to find
comfort, we wish him luck," Malema was quoted as saying.
"He is plagiarising what the media says without
verifying. Good luck to him."
- Read the full letter.