Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has dismissed EFF leader Julius Malema’s scathing attack on him as “cheap politicking”. Malema yesterday labelled Mabuza a “mafia” and claimed the province was very corrupt. Malema told his supporters in Barberton and Nkomazi that Mabuza controlled all tenders in the province and jobs were given to members of his camp. Read: Julius Malema lashes Mpumalanga’s ‘mafia’ premier Mabuza’s spokesman Zibonele Mncwango warned that Malema’s utterances could cause unnecessary political tensions and destabilise the province. “The premier does not give credence to people who make wild statements on unfounded allegations ... Therefore, he will not worry himself about people who look like they are desperate to find themselves jobs in Parliament by making derogatory statements in an effort to assassinate his character by using cheap politicking to confuse the electorate,” he said. Mncwango said being a “mafia” and corruption constituted criminality, so anyone was free to report Mabuza to police and watchdog state institutions. Meanwhile, Malema continued consultative meetings with various communities in the province today. He went to Shabalala village near Hazyview and to Bushbuckridge. Residents of Shabalala told Malema they wanted schools, electricity, water and jobs. They also said they needed help with taking care of orphans in the area. “We share river water with cattle and our children cross a crocodile-infested river to go to schools in other villages,” said a resident. They accused local politicians of nepotism and corruption. Malema has consistently reminded the communities he meets that President Jacob Zuma, Mabuza and all ANC politicians are “corrupt to the core”. He criticised security upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla home that cost taxpayers more than R200 million and portrayed the ANC government as one that kills citizens when they ask for water and better lives. “The government of today killed people of Brits who were asking for water. People were killed at Marikana but no one lost his job ... Zuma is still president and Nathi Mthethwa is still police minister. [Andries] Tatane was also killed and no one was arrested,” Malema said. Seven police officers were arrested for Tatane’s killing but were acquitted because of a lack of evidence. “This is happening because black life is cheap. If only four whites were killed [there would be consequences],” Malema said. “They’re coming for you and you can stop that by voting for us,” he added. Malema said people needed land to benefit from the economy of the country. He said nationalisation had generated money for the apartheid government to build schools and other infrastructure. “Sasol was owned by government and it used money out of Sasol to build schools. Venezuela has the best healthcare because of nationalisation. They say nationalisation will make South Africa like Zimbabwe but you’re not as educated as Zimbabweans,” Malema said. The EFF will launch its manifesto in Tembisa on February 22. The manifesto will reflect issues raised during the consultations.