Cape Town - The Broederbond or “Stellenbosch mafia”, and not the ruling ANC, is in control of South Africa, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chief Julius Malema declared when he hit Cape Town on Saturday to launch his party’s provincial manifesto.
Malema entered the Mandela Park Stadium like a rock star, with marshalls struggling to hold back crowds of supporters who pushed to get close to their hero as he walked the 80m from the stand to the stage.
“Don’t undermine the Stellenbosch mafia. They control everything in South Africa,” Malema warned about 2 500 EFF supporters at the stadium in the ANC stronghold of Khayelitsha.
“They control the judiciary, they control the economy, they control the land, they control the chain stores, they control the mines, they control the banks,” he said.
And, according to Malema, both the ANC and the DA took instructions from this “mafia”.
“If the Stellenbosch boys don’t want you to be anything, you will never become something in life.”
Malema said the Broederbond exerted influence through an “only white” and predominantly Afrikaner unit of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) to “destroy emerging individuals” and protect monopoly capital. “If the Broederbond says ‘this boy is a problem’, Sars (goes) after him,” he said.
Malema has been provisionally sequestrated by the High Court in Pretoria after an application by Sars over a R16 million tax debt.
He said this unit also had “one Indian who thinks like (a white)”.
“It is the unit in Sars that still reflects apartheid,” Malema said.
“Now that unit goes and terrorises every small business which is competing with the multinationals, including companies that are owned by Broederbond people.”
South Africa could only achieve economic emancipation if the Broederbond was dismantled.
“In reality these people still meet, these people still decide what needs to happen in South Africa.”
And Malema said this cabal could be brought down only if “ownership of the means of production was shared”.
During his 45-minute speech, Malema also had the crowd in stitches with his humorous insults to rivals.
Referring to President Jacob Zuma, whom he didn’t name, Malema said it was odd that someone with a head “that looks like butternut” still “couldn’t think”.
Turning his attention to “the madam” – a reference to Western Cape premier Helen Zille – he said when she “saw us from distance, she must be shivering in her heels”.
Malema, wearing the EFF’s signature red beret, also spent a good part of his speech talking about the importance of the expropriation of land without compensation, a centrepiece of his party’s election manifesto.
“For you to have schools you must have the land, for you to have clinics you must have the land, for you to have food and food security you must have the land,” he said, telling the crowd they were “poor because you do not have the land”.
He said people who questioned how the country would sustain its agricultural output if farmland were expropriated without compensation were “fools”, who had “the mind of a rat and forget easily”.
“Let’s remind you, before you came here we worked on this land, we were hunting on this land, we were fishing on this land,” he said to cheers.
The EFF’s commander-in-chief also said old-age grants should be doubled to R2 600 a month, and the minimum wage set at R4 500 a month, with R12 500 a month for mineworkers. He said if the EFF won the election, education would be free until a university student gained a first degree.
At the end, Malema said he would help organise the party’s next Western Cape rally. “I realise if I am not involved it will never go right,” he said cryptically, adding that there were “lazy” people in the EFF Western Cape’s ranks. EFF supporters would not see “their” faces in the future.