Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.
DURBAN - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has now crossed the red-line with his “warped logic and rantings” about former president Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal said on Sunday.
Malema, himself a former ANCYL leader until his expulsion from the ANC, said at the Oxford Union in the UK on Wednesday that Mandela had sold-out the struggle of the people and of South Africa and deviated from the Freedom Charter. Malema has been universally condemned by political parties and civil society for his statements.
KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabela said Malema had now taken his “vicious attacks against the icons of South Africa’s liberation struggle to overseas audiences”.
“Malema, in his address to the Oxford Union, said that… Mandela deviated from the Freedom Charter when he divorced Winnie Madikizela-Mandela because he went to live in a house that whites (the Oppenheimers) had donated to him in Houghton, Johannesburg.
“This logic is as warped as anything else that Malema says but the principle of taking his dirty laundry to a foreign country and a foreign audience has now made his ranting all the more unacceptable. There is a red-line no one should cross and that line is Madiba’s legacy,” Sabela said.
Whereas the ANCYL respected freedom of speech, which was also a part of the legacy that Malema seemed to criticise, the party believed there were limits to what should be considered acceptable political discourse in the 21st century and in the post-apartheid South Africa, even if such discourse was taken overseas.
“Malema’s political project has always been entirely self-serving and the only thing he cares about is self-promotion through outrageous media headlines. This is in sharp contrast to the ANC whose policies seek to deliver a better life for all South Africans. This proves that Malema is nothing more than a saccharine revolutionary who will do anything to promote his political adventurism, even if it means to sully the legacy of one of the greatest statesmen to have walked this earth,” Sabela said.
The ANC would continue to protect Madiba’s legacy of a non-racial, non-sexist, and prosperous South Africa as envisaged in the Freedom Charter, and would continue to oppose Malema’s agenda of “sowing political anarchy”.
“Malema has in recent weeks proven that he and the EFF are nothing but imperialist’s agents. He meets clandestinely with dubious characters who have been sponsoring an agenda to destabilise liberation movements on the African continent. He tried doing his agent tasks from within the ANC but he and his cohorts in the EFF failed. They were expelled.
“The youth league will thwart all the efforts of imperialist and their agents, such as Julius. The African National Congress remains committed to the Freedom Charter,” Sabela said.