A Freedom Day of rude boos and warm welcomes

2014-04-28 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL yesterday saw boos and a warm welcome for the DA and the EFF yesterday as the parties marked 20 years of freedom and campaigned ahead of the May 7 elections.

The provincial government held an event at Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium where the opposition parties had staged a walk-out.

DA leader Sizwe Mchunu was booed by ANC supporters at the stadium.

This happened as Mchunu was about to deliver his message of support — opposition parties had been invited to the event but only the DA had arrived.

MECs Nomusa Dube and Sibongiseni Dhlomo tried to restore order and Mchunu continued with his speech, only for the ANC supporters to continue to jeer him.

“As much as we had welcomed the invitation to share with South Africans in celebrating 20 years of democracy, it appears that the ANC does not understand the concept of tolerance,” he said.

In Umlazi, Economic Freedom Fighter leader Julius Malema called on his supporters in KZN to soldier on for economic emancipation even if they lost their jobs. “People lost their lives for what they believed in so you are not going to die. These cowards won’t kill you, they have no courage,” Malema said.

He made the comments when addressing a rally in Umlazi after paying a visit to a church in the Durban CBD where he was prayed for by pastors.

Malema, whose security was increased, was warmly welcomed by a crowd of about 2 000 at the venue where there was a heavy police presence.

Malema said the days of the “expired” ANC were gone. “Those who came after Nelson Mandela did not deliver the true freedom so we fight for real freedom. The time for economic freedom is now and can never be postponed.” He said his supporters should not be demoralised as the future looked bright and was filled with potential.

“We want more votes coming from KZN because you remain a province of people who are excluded from the mainstream economy,” Malema said.

Malema said those fighting for economic freedom would go down in history as they were not scared of the ANC.

Malema insisted that there was no freedom when people were without jobs and where their other needs were not being met by government.

“You are not free until you have economic power, political power without economic power is meaningless.”

He lashed out at the ANC for disrupting their meetings, and accused the ruling party of being worse than the IFP.

“The IFP has never disrupted our meetings. The IFP never threatened to beat us up. The IFP never blocked the hall at university. All those were done by the ANC.”

He said the ruling party was eroding the legacy left by former president Nelson Mandela. “Why should I celebrate a government that kills people when they toyi-toyi … No freedom kills people when they ask for money to support their children,” he said.

“What type of freedom must I celebrate when people remain landless?”

He took a swipe at Zuma for the extravagant security upgrade at his homestead and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande for buying a vehicle worth R1 million with taxpayers footing the bill.

He also said the Zuma family behaved like they were the only ones who fought for freedom in KZN. “When we fight corruption of Nxamalala we are not fighting KZN people. We are not fighting the Zulu nation,” he said.

“EFF does not hate the Zulu people because we know the Zulu nation are warriors and they are not scared to fight wrong tendencies.”

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