Malema declares ‘economic war’

2011-09-10 14:36

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema declared an “economic war” against South Africa’s “white minority” in Scwetla informal settlement today.

“This is war and we should fight moving forward. There will be casualties but I know that we are going to win,” he said.

Malema addressed nearly 1 000 people at the youth league’s 67th anniversary in Alexandra, Johannesburg.

“The day has come and on OR Tambo’s birthday (October 27) we are going to march to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and take the battle to the monopoly capital,” he said.

“We will ask all the people with shares to come and share with us. Then we will go to the Union Buildings and sleep outside until our demands for jobs are met.”

He said the league was holding its celebrations in Alexandra because its residents were the most “reliable forces for the revolution”.

“You are the reason the struggle against apartheid continued. The time to fight is now and we will reclaim ourselves in South Africa’s economy. If we don’t do it now those who are unemployed will stay that way forever,” he said.

Malema said the league would not apologise for its stance on nationalisation, land reform or for the circumstances that led to its leadership facing disciplinary charges.

Malema, his spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy, Kenetswe Mosenogi, and treasurer-general Pule Mabe face charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in ANC ranks.

Malema recently said the youth league would send a team to Botswana to consolidate opposition parties in that country and help bring about regime change.

This was because the league believed the Botswana government was “in full co-operation with imperialists” and was undermining the “African agenda”.

“The crime we have committed is reminding people about their rights in the Freedom Charter. If I am expelled then I know I will die with my soul intact,” said Malema.

“They have stolen our land. They are criminals and must be treated like that. We want our land back and we want it for free.

“I don’t need permission to be in the ANC. Before you even get a (membership) card you are born as ANC. Our blood is always green, black and gold,” he said.

He said the ANC was people’s only hope but “hypocrites” at top levels were bringing the organisation down.

“The ANC cannot fail but individuals in the ANC can. We have to blame these individuals.”

“The party turns 100 next year and during its executive meeting it will clean itself of all those people who have failed to uphold it,” he said.

During his address Malema praised all the past leaders of the ANC except President Jacob Zuma.

He said certain factions in the ruling party wanted the league to be disbanded.

“Destroying the ANC Youth League is destroying the struggle for economic freedom. Our revolution is being undermined in small air-conditioned rooms,” he said in reference to the disciplinary hearings.

He did not mention where the next round of hearings would be held.

“We do not speak to people through radio and TV like some individuals in the ANC. We speak to the people face to face,” he said.

Earlier, two cakes were brought into the marquee where the gathering was held. A one-metre square cake decorated in ANC colours and with “Happy 67th Anniversary” written on it was the centrepiece.

The other was a white, three-tier cake decorated with pictures of diamonds and gold bearing the words, “Economic Freedom in our Lifetime”.

Protest and pop songs blared out of speakers on top of a makeshift stage.

Vendors walked among the crowd selling ice-cream to those looking for shelter from the midday heat.

A youth league official asked the crowd to give up some of their seats to a group of elderly women and the crowd shouted back that the meeting was for the youth.

Chairs were eventually brought for the women and they were seated next to a group of children at the foot of the stage.

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