Pretoria - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema on Saturday said struggle icon Solomon Mahlangu was inspired by the Black Consciousness Movement to get involved in the armed struggle.
"He was inspired by [the] efforts of Tsietsie Mashinini. Who is Tsietsie Mashinini? He was a member of Black Consciousness and therefore [Mahlangu] was Black Consciousness," Malema said at the party's Solomon Mahlangu Memorial Rally at the University of Pretoria's Mamelodi Campus.
"Solomon Mahlangu was inspired by Black Consciousness which was a leading movement, as all leaders were in exile and underground. Our people looked up to Steve Biko. Solomon Mahlangu knew Black Consciousness before he knew [the] ANC. He only knew [the] ANC when he went outside the country."
Malema told the large crowd that those who claimed Mahlangu belonged to the ANC and its different formations were distorting history. He was delivering a memorial lecture in Mahlangu's birth place of Mamelodi.
He spoke highly of the community's involvement in the fight against apartheid and asked why the current generation could not follow in the footsteps of Mahlangu and his generation.
People should fight the current trends of corruption to ensure people lived a better life, he said.
"Why are you afraid in Tshwane? Why do you allow people to steal money and not finish projects? Where are you? Where is the Solomon Mahlangu in you? They have been saying RDP houses are coming, but you have been waiting since 1996," he said.
Malema added that the houses being given to people were a disgrace, and not what Mahlangu gave his life for.
"Solomon didn't die for you to get matchbox houses. He wanted houses you could be able to move around in, but now they are giving you ones that are even below that. They give you houses that don't even have bathrooms inside," said Malema.
He said the EFF wanted to change that and give people dignity.
While Malema was making this undertaking, ANC president Jacob Zuma was telling the crowd at the party's election manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth that service delivery was at the heart of their efforts to give South Africans a better life.