Malema: ‘I will lead ANC’

2012-05-15 00:00

EXPELLED ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has vowed to come back to lead the ANC one day, but he was less eager to comment on who will be elected party leader in December.

Wearing his trademark youth league beret and a white Madiba-style shirt with ANC colours and an ANC centenary logo, a defiant Malema said: “I will lead this ANC. You must put it in the archives so that when it happens, you can replay it. I will lead this ANC.

“I was already leading the ANC in Limpopo before I was expelled.

“I will be a leader of the ANC, no matter what time it takes.”

His comments come after a meeting between the league’s remaining leaders and ANC officials on Sunday, at which the ANC apparently dismissed pleas for a “political solution” to Malema’s expulsion.

Yesterday’s press conference, organised by the National Press Club at the Gordon Institute of Business in Johannesburg, was the first time Malema had addressed journalists since his expulsion from the ANC last month.

He was flanked by suspended league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, who introduced Malema as president of the league, and suspended secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, who didn’t say a word.

Asked to clarify his remarks, Malema said he meant he wanted to be a leader of the ANC.

Only ANC members could decide who would be president, he said.

He said it was too early to say whether the league would back Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale as ANC president.

But he did sing Sexwale’s praises.

“Tokyo qualifies to be a president of the Republic of South Africa,” he said, adding that anyone who paid their R12 ANC membership fee qualified.

Malema said Sexwale was a minister, a worthy freedom fighter and outspoken about economic freedom.

Sexwale at the weekend attended the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal elective congress where he sat on stage with President Jacob Zuma and other party leaders.

City Press on Sunday reported that Sexwale, who has presidential aspirations, paid R100 000 into Malema’s account. Malema, however, denied this, saying: “I am not for sale.”

He said he would not push someone’s position in the party in exchange for money. “Just imagine a man like me, who knows money, is bought for R100 000. Only if you are talking about R100 million, maybe,” he said, and then added that the league couldn’t be bought.

He admitted he would take money “from a comrade, but not from a coward”, and he would not accept any “blood money” obtained fraudulently or through corruption.

Malema said he had a call from Sexwale following his expulsion and reports that Malema was bankrupt.

“Tokyo called and said ‘my phone is still open. You are no longer a member of the ANC and many people won’t take your calls, but if you need my help, you can call me’.”

Malema said the ANC could not remove him as leader if the league did not agree with it.

He said he came back from “tending cattle in Limpopo” following the league’s recent national executive committee meeting where it was decided he would still be leader.

He said he would continue to address public meetings, rallies and seminars on economic freedom with the Friends of the Youth League, but he wouldn’t force entry into ANC offices where he is banned.

Malema said the league would not stop fighting for him to be reinstated.

“If it is tomorrow, if it is in June [at the ANC’s policy conference], if it is in December [at the ANC’s elective conference], if it is in 2013, whatever it takes,” he said.

The league is hoping to petition the ANC’s national executive committee at its meeting this weekend.

The league’s remaining leaders — deputy president Ronald Lamola and deputy secretary-general Kenetswe Mosenogi — met ANC officials on Sunday.

According to two league insiders with knowledge of the meeting, the ANC refused to talk about lifting Malema’s expulsion.

An insider sympathetic to Malema said Zuma left the meeting soon after he addressed it. “He didn’t listen to what we had to say,” he said.

League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy refused to comment yesterday, while ANC spokespersons did not answer their phones.

Malema said he would not mind if fraud and corruption charges against Zuma were reopened now.

“Well, if there is basis for corruption charges to be reinstated and for President Zuma to have his day in court, so be it,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We are all equal before the law. Nobody is above the law.”

In 2008 Malema reacted with outrage to fraud and corruption charges relating to an arms deal being brought against Zuma, saying he would kill for Zuma.

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