Malema shields Mbeki on Aids

2009-11-17 11:47

ANC Youth League President, Julius Malema, has defended former

president Thabo Mbeki against any potential genocide charges for his handling of

the issue of Aids while in office.

“Thabo Mbeki might have made his mistakes here and there but you

will never charge him with genocide,” Malema said in his keynote address to the

Pan African Youth Union in Kempton Park.

He urged African youth to protect their leaders because “if they do

it to him (Mbeki), they will do it to Mugabe, Zuma, and they will rotate and

finally come to you”.

Young Communists League leader Buti Manamela, who was at last

night’s event, had earlier called for Mbeki and then health minister Manto

Tshabala-Msimang to be charged with genocide for Aids-related deaths that

occurred during their terms in office.

According to a study by Harvard University researchers more than

330?000 people died of the virus while 35?000 women gave birth to HIV-infected

babies between 2000 and 2005 in South Africa.

Malema said last night that everything Mbeki had done was in

pursuit of a solution and threatened to “part ways” with those who continued to

call for the genocide charges.

“Our responsibility is to protect our leaders,” he said.

Malema on youth in Africa

Malema was addressing youth leaders from Angola, Botswana, Malawi,

Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa at the first

Southern Africa Pan-African Youth Union meeting.

He urged African youth leaders to create ways in which Africans

could own their means of production.

“We enjoy our political freedom, however it is not enough, if not

meaningless, without economic freedom,” he said.

He congratulated Botswana on owning 50% of its mines and said that

the redundancy of copper was the problem and not the notion of


Land reform was key in his address but he warned that it should not

be done in the manner it was done in Zimbabwe.

The process needed to respect the rights of the current owners who

should also come to the table and not sell their land at exorbitant prices, he


Malema called on the youth of Swaziland and Zimbabwe to fight to

ensure democracy reigned.

“Mugabe has done many good things but that does not give him

license to stay in power forever,” he said.

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