Be exemplary, Malema tells EFF membersComment on this story
Economic Freedom Fighters branches should work towards building their communities, party leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.
“In all schools in your branches, create food gardens,” Malema said in Sepedi.
“Go and clean old age homes. Not just tomorrow 'cause it's Mandela Day,” he said, adding that EFF members should not do social work for show like many of the country's celebrities.
He was speaking at a public lecture at the University of Limpopo's Medunsa campus situated in Ga-Rankuwa, outside Pretoria. The lecture was attended by thousands of people, mostly dressed in the party's red regalia.
Malema said the party's MPs had adopted schools and communities which they helped.
“It's very nice to change a life,” Malema told the crowd.
“Even if it's just one person. It feels good.”
He called on the party's citizens to be “exemplary”.
Addressing some of his party member's concerns, Malema said it was okay for them to challenge those in power.
“Challenge authority in a dignified manner,” he said.
He called on the branch leaders to help members who had been fired from their municipal jobs allegedly because of their affiliation to the EFF.
Some of those attending the lecture told Malema they had been denied basic services because of their affiliation to the party.
Others claimed to have been waiting for years on end for RDP housing, toilets, electricity and water and the ANC had failed to deliver.
“There's no justification as to why residents of Gauteng should be without electricity and water because this is Gauteng. It has all the resources,” said Malema.
He called on his party members to stand up for what they believed in.
“Don't be cry-babies. You must fight,” said Malema.
One EFF member said he was particularly concerned about spies who had infiltrated the party.
Malema told him it was no cause for concern.
“Many people in the ANC came in as spies, but they were baptised and became real members,” said Malema.
He said they should rather isolate those who had come to cause trouble within the party.
Malema assured his members that he and the party's MPs had their best interests at heart.
“We are not there for clothes but to work.” Malema said.
“Others are drowning in debt looking like they are on a ramp... In the opening of parliament, others dress like they are going to a matric dance,” he said in Sepedi.
Malema and other MPs from his party defied the legislature laws and have continued to attend sittings dressed in red overalls and domestic worker uniforms.
“Maybe if they see us in ordinary clothes, they'll be reminded that these are the people we are representing.
“Parliament is made to look like some heaven where ordinary people are not acceptable,” he told the approving audience.
“We are changing that.”
He said the leader of the Gauteng legislature had criticised them for wearing their attire, claiming the legislature was “not a garden”.
Malema said it seemed he had forgotten that it was ordinary garden boys that placed him in that position.
He told the audience that as the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, late former president Nelson Mandela was ready to kill for this country.
“You don't take up arms and go and kiss people,” said Malema.
“You pick up arms to kill... Madiba was ready to kill for this country.”
He called on the youth to follow in his footsteps.
“Mandela said aluta continua - the struggle continues. He was talking about the economic struggle,” said Malema.
He said he was not against the ANC.
“I raised some of these issues while in the ANC and I won many debates. They decided this one is troublesome. He must go,” said Malema.
He said he was, however, against the fact that the African National Congress promoted the National Development Plan, which would not benefit the people.
Speaking in English and Sepedi, Malema told them they had been fooled into believing they had benefited from the new, democratic South Africa.
“Twenty years into democracy but many young people see flushing toilets for the first time when they come here (university campuses),” Malema said.
He said in rural areas, the government gave people dry taps and at times water pipes, but they failed to give people actual water.
When the government mentioned their progress, however, they counted people with these things as people who had been given water.
Malema touched on the country's economy, and dismissed the positive outcomes of black economic empowerment.
“Black people who are in business with white people are economy security guards,” Malema said.
His comment was met by loud applause and laughter.
“They are protecting the interests of white people,” he said.
He claimed people like Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe were some of those who were “economy security guards”.
Malema said Ramaphosa's alleged role in the Marikana shootings was a testament to his role of protecting white men's money.
Police shot dead 34 people, mostly striking mine workers, in a clash at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in Rustenburg on August 16, 2012.
Ten other people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.
Ramaphosa, a Lonmin shareholder at the time, was alleged to have requested police to act to end the strike action. - Sapa