Malema threatens to ‘teach Nedbank a lesson’

2009-10-02 00:00

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema threatened to teach Nedbank a lesson by “mobilising customers”against the bank following its decision to withdraw its sponsorship for Athletics SA (ASA).

“Let them withdraw. We’ll engage them and we’ll expose them for who they are ... and we’ll mobilise the South African society to know what Nedbank is,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg yesterday morning.

Malema reiterated the call when he addressed members of the ANC student wing, the SA Student Congress (Sasco), at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi near Durban yesterday afternoon. Sasco was launching its manifesto ahead of the student representative council election on October 8 and 9.

“The sponsors are withdrawing, we are not surprised. Were they sponsoring [ASA president Leo­nard] Chuene or the athletes? We will teach them a lesson and expose their agenda,” said Malema.

He said sponsorship is about performance and ASA produced three black champions, including Caster Semenya.

He added that if the champions were of a different skin colour the sponsorship would have not been withdrawn. Instead, said Malema, the champions would have received scholarships to study in the United States.

“Why are people, instead of celebrating and putting more money and more sponsorship, now withdrawing?” asked Malema.

Malema also warned Yellow Pages, another athletics sponsor: “Yellow Pages, we are watching this space very closely.”

Chuene apologised 10 days ago for lying about claiming that he had no knowledge of the gender tests that were done before and after Semenya won a gold medal in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

“We said to him, ‘You know, we’re not convinced why you had to say you apologise. For what? Apologising for protecting one of our own? Apologising to fight for this woman to participate in the World Championships?’ We wouldn’t have apologised if it was us. There’s no apology,” said Malema.

Attacks in the media have left Chuene “weak”.

“Mr Chuene … you finished him,” Malema told reporters. “It is in our culture in the ANC, we always sympathise with the weakest and in this ... Mr Chuene is the weakest.”

No decision-making body in the ANC has decided that he must be removed from office, said Malema, adding that he will defend Chuene if the issue is raised at Monday’s national working committee meeting.

“The ANC … will never call for Chuene to step down or be dismissed,” said Malema, adding that it respects the decision by ASA to retain its president.

He criticised Deputy Sport Minister Gert Oosthuizen for calling for Chuene’s dismissal.

Malema said ANCYL will make it clear to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that it should not impose its concept of hermaphrodite on SA.

Australian media reported that gender tests on Semenya suggested that she is intersexed or a hermaphrodite.

“Hermaphrodite, what is that? Somebody tell me, what is hermaphrodite in Pedi? There’s no such thing … So don’t impose your hermaphrodite concepts on us.

“You are either a woman or a man. When a child is born you are announcing it’s a baby girl or a baby boy. We have never heard in the village a child being projected, ‘we are given a hermaphrodite’.

There’s never been such a thing in a village we come from. … She’s a girl and why should we accept concepts that are imposed on us by the imperialists?”

Malema later said he was not speaking in “scientific” terms but in “cultural” terms. “This girl [Semenya] must be protected to continue to run as a girl.”

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