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Malema proposes Agoa and Commonwealth exit for SA as he declares ‘we know our friends’

Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema shifted into election-mode during his party’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema shifted into election-mode during his party’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jul 31, 2023

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EFF leader Julius Malema has called on the presidents of Brazil, India and China to snub next month’s BRICS Summit in solidarity with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Malema was speaking at the EFF’s 10th-anniversary celebrations on Saturday when he said the red berets did not support Putin's decision to attend the BRICS Summit virtually.

Malema also touched on a number of geopolitical issues, boldly stating that “we know our friends, we know our enemies,” blaming President Cyril Ramaphosa for guarantees to Putin that South Africa would not arrest the Russian President if he touched down in SA next month for the BRICS Summit.

Ramaphosa announced a fortnight ago that Putin would not attend the BRICS Summit in person. He said it was a mutual decision.

The 15th BRICS Summit will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Joburg, from August 22-24.

It will be the first BRICS Summit hosted in person since the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions.

Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in person.

Malema, who has never been afraid to show his hand, said the EFF wanted to see strengthened ties with BRICS.

Malema was expelled from the ANC back in 2012 for his divisive comments, partially on foreign affairs matters.

As ANCYL president, Malema had called for the “puppet” government of former president Ian Khama to be overthrown in Botswana to be overthrown.

He also publicly clashed with then president Jacob Zuma, comparing him unfavourably to Mbeki. He was charged for bringing the party into disrepute, misconduct, amongst other charges.

“We want to make sure that BRICS is strengthened and that BRICS is an alternative to Europe and America. We are with President Putin and we want to say to President Putin, it is not us South Africans who have refused you from coming into the country, it is Ramaphosa. The coward Ramaphosa who could not guarantee we will not arrest Putin. We are Putin, and Putin is us, and we will never support imperialism against President Putin,” Malema said.

Malema spoke on a range of geopolitical issues and launched into election mode, saying an EFF government would not be afraid to cut ties with the West.

“America is threatening us with Agoa, they can take away Agoa and leave us with our sovereignty. We call on the presidents of the People's Republic of China, India and Brazil, not to come to South Africa in solidarity with President Putin, they must say you touch one of us, you touch all of us,” said Malema to loud cheers.

Malema also said an EFF government would refuse to be part of the Commonwealth, and would also cut ties with the IMF and the World Bank.

Malema also sounded stern words for Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, saying William Rutto had been democratically elected as president and that the EFF would not allow him to destabilise peace in Kenya.

Over the Lebombo border, he said Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa should stop disrupting efforts for peaceful elections. Malema urged Mnangagwa to allow free and democratic without any intimidation.

“We are with the people of Palestine, we are with the people of Eswatini, we are with the people of Sahrawi (in a territory dispute with Morocco). We are not with Morocco, we are not with Nato, we are not with the USA. We call for peace in Ethiopia, in the Eastern DRC. We stand with Cuba and we need to silence the guns in Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan. We need to say another African must not enjoy seeing the blood of another African,” Malema said.

Malema said it was his dream to realise a single United Africa, with one currency, one president and one military.

“We need Africa to be bigger in order to fight these people, this violence amongst Africans must stop. We need to resolve our issues with peace,” Malema added.

Swinging into election rallying mode, Malema said he needed sunglasses as the EFF's future looked bright. He promised to defeat unemployment, build clinics and hospitals, provide free education, defeat load shedding and also arrest ANC councillors who were apparently involved in sex for jobs rackets.

He implored his supporters to not tire ahead of the elections, telling them it was time to rise and make sure they were ready to be part of history.

“Make sure you are one of the people who will deliver economic freedom in our lifetime,” Malema said.

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