Stofile rejected Zuma, Malema tells Parliament

2016-09-01 22:21
EFF leader Julius Malema. (AFP)

EFF leader Julius Malema. (AFP)

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Cape Town - EFF leader Julius Malema has told Parliament that late former minister of sports and recreation Dr Makhenkesi Stofile was a fearless leader who rejected President Jacob Zuma.

Members of Parliament honoured Stofile in the House on Thursday during a motion of condolence, with Malema praising Stofile's bravery.

"Bra Stof was one of the most fearless leaders of our struggle," he said.

"He always spoke truth to power, and he was never scared to confront the shenanigans of President Zuma.

"He didn't do this in the press conferences. He told the man directly about how he feels. He was never one of those people who were begging because they thought they would be promoted.

"Bra Stof was never an agent, no matter how old he was, which is why we called him Bra Stof."

Malema said he saluted Stofile's family for rejecting Zuma at his funeral, "the man who destroyed his legacy of democracy".

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa attended Stofile's funeral at Fort Hare University last Thursday on behalf of Zuma, who was on a state visit to Kenya.

Freedom fighter, servant

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu opened the motion of condolence, saying Stofile, who served as the party's first chief whip after the 1994 democratic elections, was a dedicated freedom fighter.

"This House remembers that Reverend Stofile joined the ANC in 1958 and became a symbol of solidarity, loyalty and discipline.

"He made an immeasurable contribution to South Africa through politics and sport. He was a distinguished freedom fighter and dedicated servant of the country.

"We send our deepest condolences to his friends, family and colleagues at the ANC during this difficult time."

Stofile died on August 15 in Alice at the age of 72. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Not a self-serving fat cat

DA shadow minister of sport and recreation Solomon Malatsi praised Stofile and contrasted his qualities with current minister Fikile Mbalula.

"We hope that his legacy will inspire us to uphold all our duties with distinction," Malatsi said.

"I never got the chance to work with him personally, but like any leader, his good work in sport transcended generations.

"He was the athlete's sports leader, not the self-serving fat cats that run sports today.

"He never trolled national teams after they lost important games, and was a rare, self-sacrificing leader," Malatsi said.

Man of faith

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he mourned with Stofile's wife, Nambitha, and was privileged to have worked with him during the first government of national unity.

"I remember that he served as a chief whip while I was minister of home affairs, and we worked together as colleagues in the National Assembly.

"He was a very humble servant of the law. He was well-educated and a man of faith.

He would be remembered as one of the first generation of democratic leaders who fought for all we had gained, Buthelezi said.

"Our nation owes him a great debt of gratitude."

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  da  |  julius malema  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  solomon malatsi  |  fikile mbalula  |  cape town  |  parliament 2016

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