REFILE - CORRECTING DATE South African politician Julius Malema is pictured during an interview with Reuters in Johannesburg July 22, 2013. Malema, the expelled "bad boy" of South Africa's ruling African National Congress and now facing racketeering charges he denies, this month launched the nation's newest political movement the Economic Freedom Fighters, calling for a revolutionary jolt to Africa's biggest economy through nationalisation of mines and expropriation of white-owned land. Picture taken July 22, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS)

Johannesburg - The current government was killing people just like the apartheid regime, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said on Sunday.

Addressing hundreds of EFF supporters at an election campaign event at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg, Malema said the current government was using tactics reminiscent of the apartheid regime.

“(President) Jacob Zuma's government killed the Marikana miners, they are using the same tactics that were used by the apartheid government,” Malema said.

When residents protested for water, they were killed by police, he said. “What is more painful is that it’s the black policemen who are killing us... What crime are we committing when we are asking for water? Is our crime being black, are we going to be killed because we are black?” Malema asked.

Malema called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to put an end to police using live ammunition during protests, as police should rather use water cannons and rubber bullets.

Malema told supporters not to be intimidated by police.

“Some of us will be killed for this freedom,” he said.

”We cannot vote for a government that kills people,” he said.

Malema encouraged residents to vote for the EFF in the coming elections, as nothing had changed in 20 years.

“We must never go back. How do you vote for a person who takes taxpayers' money? He took one million rand to build a cattle kraal. One million rand is gone because those people love cattle more than people.”

Malema said President Jacob Zuma built a R500 000 spaza shop for his wife and a swimming pool worth R2.8 million at his Nkandla home.

“Don't threaten our people with history, we have honoured Madiba (Nelson Mandela), we respected him. That organisation is no more,” Malema said.

He said RDP houses built by the government were worse than apartheid houses because they collapsed.

“When you were fighting, you said you didn't want matchbox houses. They give you worse than that. That is not what you fought for, you wanted decent houses,” Malema said.

Daveyton residents were unemployed and could not afford to pay for water and electricity.

“They say they give you water, but they close the water when you don't pay. They have not given you water, they have given you a tap. Never celebrate mediocrity,” Malema said.

When residents asked for water they were asking for life.

“Never celebrate useless things that undermine black people,” he said.

The EFF leader said the mineral wealth of the country should be in the hands of the people.

“We want the mines to be in our hands. You are going to be poor as long as you don't have land. That is why the first thing the Boers did was to take our land because they knew that land is everything,” Malema said.

“We need to reclaim the land, we do not want RDP houses.”

EFF supporter Abitha Sithole said residents of Mayfield Extension One, in Daveyton, were tired of the ANC.

“We are going to vote for EFF, we are tired of the ANC mistreating us,” Sithole said.

She said there had been no development in Mayfield Extension One for 21 years.

“Mandela has played his part, (President Jacob) Zuma has never come to see where we live. We are poor,” Sithole said.

Catherine Khumalo, also a Mayfield Extension One resident, said the government had not done anything for the residents because they had no houses, water or electricity.

“We are here to ask Malema to help us,” she said.

Khumalo said when residents protested for better service they got arrested.

Earlier on Sunday, EFF supporters, wearing red T-shirts and berets, were singing: “This is Malema, we will pray for him, we will kneel and pray for him.”

They were also carrying placards saying: “Julius please help us, it is 21 years living in an informal settlement” and “No better life, no water, no electricity, no house, prison is what we get”. - Sapa