News24

Zuma warns Malema

2009-10-20 14:45

Johannesburg - ANCYL leader Julius Malema is planning to visit the volatile Sakhile informal settlement in Mpumalanga - but has been warned by President Jacob Zuma "to behave" himself.

Malema would travel to the Standerton informal settlement on Wednesday, he told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

But Zuma reacted wearily when he heard of the plan, revealed Malema.

"He [Zuma] said to me, 'I hope you are not going to fuel the fire there because we have a problem we are dealing with'."

"So, we [the African National Congress Youth League] are called to order," said Malema.

According to the youth leader, Zuma warned him by saying: "If you go there, you must behave."

Discrediting the president

Malema also slammed violent protests, saying people burning tyres while wearing T-shirts bearing pictures of Zuma's face were discrediting the president.

"They [protesters] must barricade the roads with themselves, just standing on the road without fire. Then the police will not do anything to them."

"I'm going there tomorrow [Wednesday] to Sakhile. I'm going to tell them - you don't have to burn, you must fight but you must not undermine the Constitution. Why must you burn a tyre?"

Malema lamented red tape and sluggish delivery by the government, acknowledging that the turn around time in service delivery was slow.

The Sakhile informal settlement saw violent protests in recent weeks with residents complaining of bad service delivery and demanding the resignation of the mayor and councillors.

On Thursday, ANC national executive committee members Fikile Mbalula and Malusi Gigaba visited Standerton for day-long meetings with municipal and provincial officials, church organisations, community leaders and local party structures.

The ANC leaders promised to report back to the community soon. Mbalula is also scheduled to visit the township on Wednesday.

SAPA