I'm ready to die, says emotional Malema
By Stanley Gama
Independent Foreign Service
Harare - ANC Youth League President Julius Malema says he is not scared of assassination threats and he is ready to die but "will not allow himself to be terrorised by right-wing whites" in his country.
Addressing a press conference at State House in Harare yesterday after meeting Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, an emotional Malema dismissed as rubbish speculation in South Africa that he was in some way responsible for the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche.
Malema was in Zimbabwe with his ANCYL delegation to compare notes with his Zimbabwean counterparts on how to defend themselves from "imperialism".
Some critics of Malema are linking Terre'Blanche's murder to the struggle song with the words dubul'ibhunu (shoot the boer) which has been declared hate-speech in South Africa but which Malema continuously sang on his four-day tour of Zimbabwe.
"The song has been sung (since) before I was born," he said yesterday.
"I started singing it when I was nine years old. I don't know why Terre'Blanche was not killed at that time.
"Today, he is killed and people can't see a reason why Terre'Blanche was killed and they want to associate that with a song.
"It has nothing to do with the song. We know who Terre'Blanche was; we know how he related to his workers, so police must investigate and look for the person who killed him. People are just mobilising and trying to intimidate us in our own country.
"We are unshaken. Nobody, including the rightwingers, can intimidate us in that country. We have more important issues to concentrate on than killing an individual.
"Terre'Blanche was just an individual and had no influence. When he passed on he had no influence, including in Afrikaner politics.
"So it is irresponsible of those who want to link the song to the death of Terre'Blanche," said Malema, who added that the judiciary which declared the song to be hate speech was refusing to reform.
The AWB originally vowed to avenge Terre'Blanche's murder but yesterday it retracted this statement.
Malema said for him life will not change because there were some extremists after his life. "If there is anybody who wants to assassinate me, they will find me ready for them.
"I'm not going to be scared of boers - I've fought them many times before. If they want to fight me they are welcome.
"Before Terre'Blanche was killed there was a price tag on my head, but unfortunately (for them) I am alive and somebody else is no more.
"It cannot be that Julius Malema's life is cheaper than the life of somebody else. In their minds they think they have already killed me. When they practise shooting, they put up my picture and shoot my head. They are looking for my blood, but I refuse that my blood be received by rightwingers.
"They will find me ready. In fact, if they kill me; they will not kill the idea.
"They will make me a hero and will make more generations to come to want to pursue my beliefs. I am going back to South Africa today and there are no special security arrangements.
"These allegations have made me more inspired and determined."
Malema said he had spoken to Mugabe about Zanu-PF political violence and impressed on him that polls were won by persuading the electorate.
He claimed that Mugabe had agreed with him and said the 86-year-old was never a proponent of violence; it was brought into Zimbabwean politics by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Mugabe chronicled to Malema's delegation the history of Zimbabwe. He was about to introduce the death of Terre'Blanche when the press was chased out of the room.