Zuma will speak for me, Malema says
Thaba'Nchu - Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said on Friday he was unperturbed by not being given a chance to speak at the ruling party's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein at the weekend.
"I am not here to speak... President Zuma will speak on behalf of all of us. He was elected, whether we like him or not," he told a crowd at the Moroka Primary School in Thaba'Nchu in the Free State.
ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete told reporters on Wednesday that Malema would not be given the podium on Sunday, when Zuma delivered his annual January 8 statement in Bloemfontein.
Mbete said all messages of support, including Malema's, would be compiled into a booklet to be distributed to the 100 000 people expected to attend the ANC's centenary festivities over the weekend.
Malema first publicly referred to Zuma as "shower man" at the ANC's Limpopo conference in December 2011, where his close ally Cassel Mathale retained his position as provincial ANC chairman.
The beleaguered youth league leader was elected to the Limpopo ANC's provincial executive committee.
Before Malema's arrival in Thaba'Nchu on Friday, a group of youth at the school sang the "shower song". Some youth league leaders, including suspended secretary Sindiso Magaqa, first formed a circle and then lead the crowd in song.
"Malema re rapedise rea e sokolela. Shawara ya re sokodisa," they sang.
The words translate as: "Malema pray for us we are suffering. The shower man is giving us problems."
As in Limpopo, where the song made its debut, the Free State youth accompanied it with a gesture over their heads symbolising a shower.
This was a reference to Zuma's rape trial in 2006, during which he said he took a shower after having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman.
The group of young people also sang a song in praise of ANC national executive committee member and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, who was with Malema in Thaba'Nchu.
The youth league wanted him to replace ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe at the party's elective conference in Bloemfontein in December this year.
"Thina sifuna uMbalula [We want Mbalula]," they sang.
Malema held his first "mini-rally" in Welkom on Thursday.
The rallies are convened as part of the celebrations of the ANC's centenary celebrations.