The masses will make nationalisation policy - Malema

2010-02-19 12:57

THE ANC Youth League (ANCYL) wants the support of the masses, not

of President Jacob Zuma, in its drive for nationalisation, league leader Julius

Malema said yesterday.

“We don’t care who says what: nationalisation will become the

policy of the ANC,” Malema said during a memorial lecture at Johannesburg’s Wits

University to commemorate former president Nelson Mandela’s release from prison

20 years ago.

“We don’t want Zuma’s or (Deputy Police Minister Fikile) Mbalula’s

support ... we want the support of the masses. If the masses say ‘you are

correct’, we will march on,” he said.

Earlier this week, during debate on his state-of-the-nation address

in Parliament, Zuma told opposition parties that nationalisation of the mines

was not government policy.

Malema, however, said he was determined to influence ANC branches

to adopt nationalisation as party policy so that it could then filter into


He was addressing a packed hall where he had been received with

thunderous applause and enthusiastic singing and dancing. Before Malema’s

address his audience watched a video clip of an interview with Mandela filmed

shortly after his release from prison.

In the interview, Mandela said nationalisation was part of South

Africa’s history and he did not understand how privatisation could be justified

as it would benefit only those people with the resources to buy into


Mandela said whites had decided the only way to control the

country’s blacks was through privatisation.

Malema described the current ANC leadership as “sweethearts”.

“Today they want to tell us they are the best thinkers and they can

interpret the freedom charter better than Nelson Mandela.”

The struggle for today’s youth was for “economic emancipation” and

to “take command of the economy from the hands of white males”, Malema said. “We

must say here today in our lifetime we demand economic freedom.”

He again attacked former president FW de Klerk: “We must never

compare De Klerk to Nelson Mandela. De Klerk must be compared with (IFP leader)

Mangosuthu Buthelezi – they served the same master.”

The IFP had been funded by security forces, he said, and while the

party’s leader, Buthelezi, had been forgiven, his deeds had not been


Joining Malema on stage was ANC national executive committee member

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who remarked that Malema was “clever” to have used

archival information to back up his stand on nationalisation.

“You are very clever, my grandson Julius ... you went to collect

archival matter on nationalisation of the mines. I wonder where you got it,” she


Madikizela-Mandela explained her absence from Victor Verster Prison

in Cape Town last week when her former husband’s release was commemorated: “My

family and I were not invited,” she said.

Earlier, Malema described Madikizela-Mandela as a “populist” and

praised her contribution to the struggle.

“You can call her what you want,” he said. “If she is a populist,

we will support a populist.”

Madikizela-Mandela replied that if a populist was someone who

exploited the ignorant to hold on to power and sustain “a luxury lifestyle and

what we now call bling”, then she was not one.

“I seek none of that,” she said.

Madikizela-Mandela said it was important to remember all the facets

of Mandela and the leader he was.

“It is not enough to celebrate and quote him; we must walk in his

shoes and complete the long walk.”

She referred to Mandela’s statement from the dock at the Rivonia

treason trial. He did not say he would die for an individual, but for an


At a youth rally ahead of Zuma’s appointment as president, and

before corruption charges against Zuma were dropped, Malema said the league was

“prepared to die for Zuma”.

Madikizela-Mandela expressed regret over the persistence of

inequalities in South Africa and as large sectors of its society still lacked

the resources to live dignified lives.

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