SA, Durban – In an epic rant, Julius Malema used his Economic Freedom Fighters’ fourth anniversary speech on Saturday to hurl insults at, among others, President Jacob Zuma, former president Thabo Mbeki, whites, and KwaZulu-Natal Indians.
Speaking to a crowd of about 7000 people at Curries Fountain in Durban, the EFF leader said President Jacob Zuma behaved like an “adolescent”, Higher Education and Training Minister and South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande was a coward who had spoken “under the influence of alcohol”, Mbeki was getting “old” and had lost touch with reality, and the province’s Indians treated blacks as if they were “sub-human”.
He also encouraged the crowd to occupy land, a statement that has previously landed him in hot water. He is currently embroiled in court cases for similar utterances.
“If you don’t have a piece of land you are a coward. Go and identify a piece of land anywhere you like. That is your land. In my ward in Seshego we did that. The owner came and said he had been listening and we could take half. If you don’t listen you will lose the whole land. White land owners must share land,” he said.
Malema also used the opportunity to lash out at EFF members who were “mediocre” and “lazy”. “We are going to be firing lots of lazy people. If you are earning a living in the name of the EFF you must perform beyond expectations. We cannot harbour laziness among ourselves. In the ANC they accept that, not here. An EFF councillor or MP is not employment, it is deployment,” he said.
“White monopoly capital” (WMC) was a concept that originated with the EFF, and Mbeki and former finance minister Trevor Manuel were wrong to deny its existence.
“There is domination of whites in the economy. Mbeki mustn’t distort the truth while he is fighting his factional battles. I don’t like the Guptas or Bell Pottinger, but I can’t disassociate myself from WMC because that is a distortion.” It was Mbeki who had coined the phrase “two nations in one country”. “I understand he is getting old so reality may have escaped him,” Malema said.
Zuma did know the meaning of white monopoly capital, but used it as an excuse to loot. “Zuma wants to replace WMC with the Guptas. White monopoly capital must not be replaced by black monopoly capital.” Instead, the goal was replacement of all monopoly capital with socialism.
Many of those now joining the chorus for Zuma to step down had not always felt that way, and instead used to call Malema “an agent used by the CIA”. Nzimande was one of these, Malema said.
“Blade is not brave; he is under the influence of alcohol. Why should we take him seriously after all he has said about EFF?”
Malema said everything in KwaZulu-Natal that was “strategic” was “given to Indian families”. “Indians must share with our people. They are ill-treating them. This is not anti-Indian, it is the truth. If we tell the truth to blacks and whites, we must tell the truth to Indians,” he said.
During door-to-door visits in KwaZulu-Natal during the week, black people were “crying” about how they were treated by Indian employers. “They don’t pay our people; they pay them in food parcels. Our people must be paid a minimum wage. In KwaZulu-Natal political parties are captured, maybe not by the Guptas, but they are in the pockets of other Indian families,” Malema claimed.