Durban – The ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal has accused EFF leader Julius Malema of "being a person of such low character", after "he lied about being personally invited" to attend the funeral of former ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa.
Provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo on Wednesday said he had only made a comment as a gesture on Monday during a Twitter conversation where Malema expressed his sadness at the killing of Magaqa.
Magaqa, 35, died at a Durban hospital on Monday, following "an assassination attempt" on July 13.
He was a ward councillor in Umzimkhulu at the time of his shooting.
Magaqa, Umzimkhulu's Ward 11 councillor Nonsikelelo Mafa and Ward 16 councillor Jabu Mzizi were returning from an ANC regional meeting when they were shot by unknown assailants.
Malema had tweeted: "My brother and friend #SindisoMagaqa is no more, may his soul Rest In Peace. We will always miss you fearless economic freedom fighter."
Sabelo replied to Malema on Twitter: "He (Magaqa) was indeed a fearless economic freedom fighter. Do attend the funeral."
"Clearly this is not an invite as suggested," said Sabelo.
'Someone as low as Malema'
"Magaqa was the kind of a person who saw good in someone as low as Malema, someone who will deliberately mislead society about a funeral invitation that he knows he never got and could never have gotten from the ANCYL in KZN," he said.
It was un-African to invite or even disinvite someone to a funeral, according to the Youth League.
"Malema has decided to lie about this, calling it a personalised invitation. It pains the Youth League to have to challenge these lies and deliberate distortions by Malema during this difficult time of grieving one of our own, but as Magaqa had taught us, you must challenge those telling lies and claiming easy victories," Sabelo said.
The Youth League said they understood the nature of the relationship Magaqa and Malema had "having been close to Magaqa during his time as the secretary general of the ANCYL".
Malema, in a statement on Tuesday, said he was "shocked" to receive an invitation from the KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL to Magaqa's funeral.
"I do not know of anywhere in our traditions where people get invited to funerals," Sabelo said.
Malema said he would attend Magaqa's funeral on condition that a "thorough security assessment" was done beforehand to ensure that his life is not taken by "bloodthirsty murderers".
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said a case of murder would be opened.
The Hawks issued identikits of two suspects in July.
"We are still after those suspects. Investigations continue," Mulaudzi said.