Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema joined leaders today in mourning Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
“I join millions of progressive individuals... in sending my heartfelt condolences to the people of Venezuela for loosing a fearless, politically determined and ideologically steadfast leader in President Hugo Chavez,” he said in a statement.
Malema said Chavez was among the few revolutionaries who challenged the dominance of imperialism in the world and exposed its weaknesses.
Chavez died yesterday after a two-year battle with cancer, ending 14 years of rule in Venezuela.
“Despite massive resistance from rented imperialist puppets, President Hugo Chavez was able to lead Venezuela into an era where the wealth of Venezuela, particularly oil, was returned to the ownership of the people as a whole,” Malema said.
The Young Communist League of SA said it was devastated at the news of Chavez's death.
“Comrade Chavez was an inspiration to all progressive forces around the world.... His defiance of imperialism and his insistence that Venezuela’s vast oil reserves be used to uplift the masses of the people has changed the lives of millions of people,” spokesman Khaya Xaba said.
Xaba said that while capitalists sneered at socialism, and major imperial forces disrupted it, Chavez had shown how socialism could benefit all.