I never drove white voters away: Malema

ANCYL president Julius Malema today said it was not true that he had driven white voters out of the governing party.

“I never drove them (whites) away. They have never voted for us (ANC),” he said during the KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL provincial general congress, held at the Durban City Hall.

Malema was commenting for the first time since it was reported that he had cost the ANC minority votes.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe conceded soon after the May 18 local government elections that there were communities which would be “switched off” by ANC leaders’ comments which “appeared racist”.

Asked about comments made by Malema specifically, Mantashe replied: “Comments that are a departure from ANC policy, do not do good for the ANC.”

Malema told delegates that it was not true that he drove whites away from the ANC, saying only that white voters never voted for the governing party even during former president Nelson Mandela’s leadership.

“They (whites) never voted for Mandela in 1994 and they never voted for (president) Thabo Mbeki,” he said.

Malema said whites had not voted for Mandela even when he was involved in reconciliation.

The ANC also never won a ward where Mandela’s home was situated in Johannesburg. The ward was predominately white.

Malema said it was important for people to apply their minds before they agreed with the reactionaries.

“The policies are not conducted through headlines.”

Malema said the ANC had also liberated white people from apartheid, adding that they now had access to the beauty of the continent.

“South Africa belongs to both blacks and whites. We freed them (whites) and we will continue protecting them,” he said.

He said coloured and Indian South Africans had worked with blacks in the trenches fighting for freedom.

Malema said the ANC had managed to get 20 000 new votes from the coloured community.

“The new leadership managed to get 20 000 new votes in one year. We would have managed to get more if they had more time,” Malema said referring to the new leaders who took over just a year before the elections.

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