Malema complains over intimidation

2011-10-24 17:45
Johannesburg - State institutions are being used to intimidate people wanting to join the ANCYL's economic freedom marches, league president Julius Malema said on Monday.

"Innocent people are being threatened. Since when do state institutions intimidate people who have different political views?" Malema asked at a media briefing in Johannesburg.

He said bus companies had had to pull out of the march because they were being told that their contracts would be terminated if they transported protesters.

Malema said the ANCYL had met with ANC leaders to discuss the march.

"Some people who think they are more ANC than the ANC leadership are saying we are marching to undermine the ANC," Malema said.

"The leadership doesn't see it like that and they say that nothing is wrong with the march as long as it is successful and peaceful."

Malema said that ANC leadership had accepted the ANCYL's explanations.

The league expected 5 000 people to participate in the march, he said.

There would also be 1 000 youth league marshals, 500 police and private security company members to ensure the march was peaceful.

"The ANC leadership told us to look out for agent provocateurs. We might be infiltrated by people with ill intentions."

Malema said the ANCYL had been told to pay the Johannesburg and Pretoria municipalities R1m each.

"We will not pay to march. We have provided all the applications. If there is an uprising, people don't apply for permission," he said.

"Our demands are clear. We have no aim of bringing down the government. [This] is a popular government... We are rising to raise our concerns with them."

The "economic freedom youth mass action" is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday.

Members will march from Beyers Naude Square, to Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton and the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Malema said members were supposed to march along the M1 highway but instead are marching through alternative routes to prevent traffic delays.

"The route doesn't matter, Pretoria does. Anything that will get us there is OK," he said.

Malema said the league were marching to demand the appropriation of land without compensation.

"This is our grandfather's land, taken by force. We want that land back," he said.

"We constitute 90% of the country and the ownership [of land] should reflect that."

Ignorant investors

Malema spent the weekend travelling to townships across the Gauteng to drum up support for the march.

He visited Thembelihle, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, the Methodist Church in Heildelburg and Bantu Bonke township in Vereeniging.

"In Alex, the people stay like pigs. In Diepsloot the people stay like pigs. We want that land. Cowards are scared to speak of this issue."

Malema said marching to the JSE would not affect foreign investment in the country.

"People worry about reputation. Ask what the march in Wall Street is doing to the reputation of people there?" he asked.

"This is an international problem. Only ignorant investors won't know that."

Malema said the league would not discuss the ANC's succession debate during the march, but were preparing a document that would define the "ideal" leader for the ANC.

"We will share this document with the structures. We need to find the right person to lead the ANC beyond its 100 years," he said.

ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola reportedly said in Kimberley, Northern Cape on Saturday that the league was going to replace President Jacob Zuma with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Lamola said on Monday that he was "grossly misquoted".

"What I said was that deputy presidents always take over from the presidents... one day with this history Kgalema will become president," he said.

It is inevitable, but we did not say when this will happen."

The Congress of SA Trade Unions said that it would support the march, but condemned Lomola's remarks.

SA Municipal Workers Union spokesperson Tahir Sema said the union would stand by the march.

"We will be waiting on the outcome of the bilateral meeting between... Cosatu and the ANCYL, which would determine whether we would be supporting the march on the streets or not," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  ancyl  |  samwu  |  jacob zuma  |  ronald lamola  |  julius malema  |  kgalema motlanthe  |  economy
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