Johannesburg - Julius Malema has shrugged off a vitriolic attack from an erstwhile comrade in the Economic Freedom Fighters.
On Wednesday, ex-convict-turned-Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie, in an open letter, accused Malema of hypocrisy and preying on the destitute for his own political gain.
On Wednesday night, in response, Malema said only that he was disappointed. He did not deny McKenzie’s claims.
“As African brothers, we must stand by each other, despite differences. But if, after writing that letter, he is going to find comfort, we wish him luck. He is plagiarising what the media says without verifying. Good luck to him,” he said.
McKenzie accused Malema of deception and hypocrisy for claiming he was a revolutionary while enjoying a lavish lifestyle.
“Julius, you and I are not ‘revolutionaries’. We both know that. We both shop at the same Louis Vuitton and Gucci shops. We both have watches worth hundreds of thousands (of rand). We wear more money on our wrists than a miner at Marikana will ever hold in his hands,” he said.
McKenzie is the close confidant of controversial businessman and cell mate Kenny Kunene, who ditched the EFF to form the Patriotic Alliance.
“For people like us to call ourselves revolutionaries is an insult to history’s real revolutionaries…
“Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso’s Marxist revolutionary leader) wants to get out of his grave and take back his words that have found their way onto your whisky-swilling tongue.
“If simply wearing a beret makes you a revolutionary, then my mom and all her friends have been revolutionaries for far longer than you.”
McKenzie accused Malema of enriching himself through dodgy tenders. “You have spent more money at any of your own lavish parties than Kenny Kunene ever did. But Kenny never spent public money… He never earned his money through misdirected tenders… You bankrupted the ANC Youth League. You bankrupted Limpopo. You bankrupted yourself. Now you want to bankrupt what’s left of South Africa.”
Malema is facing sequestration from Sars for a R16 million tax debt.
The EFF leader, McKenzie said, was a self-seeking, devious politician. “When the doors of government’s Treasury slammed in your face, you went immediately to the poor with your cap in hand, promising them the world, when you needed their money to pay for your tax problems.
“Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla upgrade was wrong on all fronts. But you also took taxpayers’ money to demolish a R3m house in order to build a R16m house in Sandton.”
McKenzie also accused Malema of insulting elderly people, including former president Thabo Mbeki’s mother, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and Zuma’s wife, MaKhumalo. He said Malema deserved to be imprisoned.
McKenzie reiterated suggestions that the EFF’s nationalisation policies were bound to bankrupt the economy within three years.
“All you can think of in your choice of language is ‘take, take and destroy’… you are the biggest thief I ever met. You truly are the con-mander-in-thief.”
McKenzie could not be reached for comment.