Julius Malema
Julius Malema
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Babalo Ndenze

EXPELLED ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has sprung to the defence of his “mother”, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, after she was described as “ill-disciplined” by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe for supporting Malema.

Malema also took swipes at the party’s leadership, suggesting they had no morals and had made “stupid mistakes” in the running of the party since the Polokwane conference.

The Sowetan reported yesterday that Mantashe had warned that Madikizela-Mandela’s support of Malema was a “danger to the party”.

Mantashe went on to say that Madikizela-Mandela’s decision to support Malema was “ill-disciplined”.

Mantashe said this after Madikizela-Mandela accompanied Malema, suspended youth league spokesman Floyd Shivambu and suspended secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa to the official opening of rooms at a child-care centre during the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on Wednesday.

Malema said Mantashe was in no position to call Madikizela-Mandela ill-disciplined as he didn’t have her struggle credentials.

“Mama doesn’t need Mantashe. She was in the struggle long before Mantashe. Not even the boers could tell her to keep quiet. He is over-exaggerating his power and influence.

“Mama is a very strong leader in the ANC and Mantashe doesn’t know the ANC and he has been making a lot of stupid mistakes in terms of running the organisation.”

He said the fact that party members had called for Mantashe’s replacement a few months after his election as secretary-general showed his inefficiencies.

“Not even six months after Polokwane there were already calls for him to be replaced.

“He (Mantashe) is going to be removed in Mangaung. He is just opening the garage door for himself to go out. He will be going together with Zuma.”

On his relationship with Madikizela-Mandela, he said he had become a member of the family.

“It has gone beyond politics. I’m a child in her family. My relationship with her goes beyond Mantashe’s.

“I was taught politics by her. She actually wrote them (ANC leaders) a letter on how they abused and disrespected her family so they must address her issues instead of attacking her,” said Malema.

He also attacked the ANC for publicly rebuking leaders of the veterans’ league.

“You can see this is an immoral leadership that has lost its moral compass. You can’t threaten veterans and cut them down to size in public.”

He said ANC leaders had been happy to use the veterans when it suited them, but “the day you disagree with them, you become useless”.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu confirmed Mantashe’s comments, but said the party would not respond to comments made by Malema.

He said any decision on Madikizela-Mandela would be made by the party’s national executive committee.