I’m sorry, says Malema

2012-03-12 00:00

EXPELLED former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema yesterday offered a half-hearted apology to the mother body — saying he had not meant to embarrass the party.

Speaking on an SABC news programme last night, Malema said: “I am sorry; I did not do it deliberately. I was making a contribution. I thought it was strengthening the movement as required by the constitution of the ANC Youth League to support the movement.”

Earlier in the day, speaking at Brandfort in the Free State, he declared that he would not ask any political leader for permission to speak at youth league gatherings anywhere in the country.

Malema was expelled from the ANC in February for bringing the party into disrepute and sowing division in its ranks.

On television, the sombre but defiant Malema maintained that the utterances made were resolutions of the league.

Although he said he will be appealing, he said his future in the organisation was looking bleak. “I am coming to accept that [my future is over] with all the utterances being made.”

He said being outside the ANC would be traumatic, but would not be the end of him. “The ANC is all I have known since I was nine years old. I have no parents, I have only a grandmother and all I know is the ANC, the friends and the associates are in the ANC. I will lose everything because no one will want to be associated with an expelled member.”

Malema said despite the claims by the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) that he was unrepentant, he had shown political remorse and practically pleaded not to be expelled.

“I offered political remorse. I had not stolen bread, therefore I could not go there and plead poverty.

“I told the NDC that if they believed I was wrong, they could take my position as the youth president; they can take my position in the ANC and they can suspend me for 10 years as long as they can leave me with my membership card.”

Malema stopped short of saying the mitigation of sentence was a futile process.

Referring to ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu’s membership of the youth league having been suspended for three years, he said: “Shivambu received a three-year [sentence] before saying sorry and he received three years after”.

He said the sentence will not affect the youth programmes or his contributions to the youth causes.

Earlier at Brandfort, he said he would not ask any political leader for permission to speak at youth league gatherings anywhere in the country.

He said he had a right to freedom of movement and could go wherever he wanted, adding that those who said he needed “a permit” to be in Brandfort were no different from those who, during apartheid, restricted the movement of people.

Brandfort has been immortalised by having been where ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was banished during apartheid, under house arrest.

Referring to unknown powers that had apparently indicated he was not welcome in the Free State, Malema said those requests could not have been in the name of the ANC.

He called on members of the ANCYL to defend the organisation.

He said the league was not an organisation of beggars and would keep on raising its opinions within the ANC.

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