News24

Malema warns mining companies

2010-02-22 20:00

Johannesburg - Julius Malema, the leader of South Africa's African National Congress youth league, said on Monday mining companies and opponents within the ANC were spearheading a campaign to discredit him.

Media reports have stated that Malema, who has been pushing for the nationalisation of the country's mines, used political contacts to win multi-million rand government infrastructure contracts. Malema has denied the reports.

"Those who own the means of production, mine owners in particular, and those who think the ANC Youth League will not support them for election and re-election into ANC leadership in 2012 have merged to discredit the leadership of the ANC Youth League," Malema told reporters at a news conference at ANC headquarters.

He did not name the mining groups.

Will take legal action

Malema said he planned to take legal action against newspapers which reported he has earned millions of rands from municipal tenders in Limpopo.

"I did not benefit from anything. I got nothing," he said referring to a report in the Sunday Times that SGL Engineering Projects, a company linked to him, won more than 20 contracts.

Malema said nationalisation of mines would happen "not in the distant future".

"Investors, businessmen, government bureaucrats and mining practitioners should begin to adjust to the reality that the democratic state is going to have greater control and ownership of minerals and the actual process of mining in South Africa," he added.

Cosatu backs nationalisation

Zuma has stressed that nationalisation is not government policy but said he could not prevent a debate on the issue.

Malema said he had the backing of Cosatu on nationalisation and would continue talks with the SA Communist Party.

The communists and the youth league have been at odds over Malema's plans for nationalisation that propose the government own at least 60% of mines and his calls that senior leaders relinquish membership of different parties within the alliance.

In particular he has called for ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to step down because he chairs the communist party.