Durban - EFF leader Julius Malema lectured students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Westville campus in a brutal and frank address on Tuesday, saying their desire to live pretentious lives beyond their means was a betrayal of the struggle to liberate black people.
Malema was addressing students as part of his party’s “blitz” in the city as it prepares for its fourth anniversary celebrations to be held at Currie’s Fountain on Friday.
A few hundred students braved the hot sun and waited almost an hour for the EFF commander-in-chief to arrive.
So frank was the address that female students standing next to the podium were overheard saying “he is telling it to us like it is”.
“Some of you that are in this campus, you want to pretend as if you have arrived,” said Malema.
“You even want to create an impression that you come from a rich family, only to find that you are subsidised by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
“Do not live a false life. You must do away with false consciousness, with being pretentious.
“Accept your reality, and once you have accepted your reality, you will join the struggle to change your condition.”
Malema said that many students could not join the struggle of the poor because they “pretend to be rich”.
“You do not have a red T-shirt in your room because you pretend to be rich. You are not rich, you are poor. You are a child of a domestic worker, you are a child of a farm worker. Accept your reality and join the struggle.”
Malema urged the students to support one another and their communities. “A poor child who does not have food should not be a laughing stock among black people. We must talk about how do we assist and how do we protect this fellow black so that this person can complete whatever they are here for.”
He said one graduate in a village would uplift that village and become a model example of success.
“The leadership of the EFF here, you must lead by example. You must attend all your classes, do not be like Sasco leaders who became permanent residents on this campus. You must learn and pass. Graduate in a record time,” he said.
Mqondisi Duma, a leader of Sasco in KwaZulu-Natal, rubbished Malema’s attack on their organisation.
“Malema is a politician and he will exploit every opportunity he gets, we know that.
“His claims against Sasco leaders are untrue. The president of Sasco is doing his Masters’ degree, there are many leaders doing the same.”
Duma said Sasco had been leading the fight for students to get free education.
ANA reported that Malema had told the students that he had to force his way on to the campus in order to address them because of “reactionary management”.
“The management gave us permission to be here, but last night they withdrew it and thought we would not come.
“When I entered the gate (today) the security refused to open. I opened by force because we have a right to be here,” he said, after apologising for the late start.