DURBAN – Julius Malema met with an enthusiastic response from a large crowd of Durban University of Technology (DUT) students on Tuesday when he took his KwaZulu-Natal electioneering campaign to the institution.
The commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) told students that borders were “imposed on us by colonisers, by white people”, while speaking about the recent allegedly xenophobic outbreaks in the province.
“Those Zimbabweans are exploited. Many of you don’t want to do the types of jobs Zimbabweans are doing. Stop hating the people who are helping you,” he said.
"Decolonisation", according to Malema, was an absence of borders.
“When you are done beating up the foreigners, you will resort to tribalism and then we will be Rwanda. Stop it now, if you don’t we will be left with no country. From xenophobia, tribalism follows. Stop African hate and imperialism.”
Malema started his campaigning on Monday in the north of the province - where he addressed several communities - and ended the day at a TVET college in the Richards Bay area. He was well supported at all of his campaign stops.
Turning to issues directly affecting DUT, Malema said student accommodation should be “conducive for human beings”.
The institution’s main Steve Biko campus recently entered a period of calm following violent student protests that left one EFF Student Command (EFFSC) member dead. Among other things, the students had been protesting for suitable accommodation.
The EFFSC has a strong following at KwaZulu-Natal’s largest tertiary education institutions and has won over several student representative councils from the ANC-aligned South African Students' Congress (SASCO).
Malema told the students that accommodation at DUT campuses should “be the same” for white, Indian and African students.
“We must do away with the Apartheid mentality that Indians are better than blacks. We want to see [Indians] in the picket lines if they are fighting for better education. They qualify for BEE, they can’t just be black when they want jobs,” he said.
Turning his attention to protest action, Malema said: “Tyres are not going to help you. It’s a waste of time. The only weapon is the [ballot box] cross.
“When you [place your] cross next to progressive forces, there is no drop of blood. I see people marching in Umlazi, kwaMashu; after that mayor is removed he is replaced with a mayor from the same party. They clap hands. How can you clap? It’s meat from the same pot.”
Malema then turned his attention to SASCO, accusing its leaders of “stealing”, “because they are taking after their fathers and mothers (ANC supporters)”.
Some in the crowd disapproved but were quickly cut down by Malema.
“Shout! There is nothing you can do, you are a small voice, go and play with yourself in your room”, he said, to loud cheers, whistling and clapping from EFF students.
“You need to know that SASCO and the ANCYL are the most corrupt in DUT. The only future is EFFSC,” he said.
The red berets didn’t compete over cell phones or tenders like the ANC, but over degrees and PhDs, he said.
“In the EFF there are no illiterate leaders - unlike SASCO, [who] are permanent residents of DUT. Go to school and pass and graduate,” he said to the SASCO members in the crowd who had earlier made known their discontent.
“Real freedom is coming on May 8. We have removed the [SASCO] thugs now we are going for their parents, because they are still in charge of the municipality and the province.”