Johannesburg - Former ANC strongman, as national chairman, and now Congress of the People (Cope) president Mosiuoa Patrick “Terror” Lekota insists he has lost none of the fire in his belly, contrary to popular opinion that he’s lost his bearings.
Despite his public pronouncements, he still holds the same ideals he stood for when he was sentenced to Robben Island, the former Delmas Treason Triallist argues.
Lekota was speaking to The Sunday Independent on Wednesday, a day after he’d accompanied controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr to the Brooklyn police station in Hatfield, Pretoria, to lay a charge against Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama for incitement.
The duo opened the case against Mngxitama after the latter had earlier issued a threat for five white lives to be taken for every black person killed.
Mngxitama had said his clarion call was in response to billionaire businessman Johann Rupert’s threat that he had influential taxi bosses at his behest.
Lekota says of Mngxitama: “He must be arrested.”
He says Afrikaners such as advocate Bram Fischer and the Reverend Beyers Naudé fought alongside blacks during the Struggle against apartheid.
He hastens to add that Hofmeyr, like the two stalwarts, is an Afrikaner.
But he fails to acknowledge that the similarities end there.
Lekota says he is not aware of Hofmeyr’s public statements denouncing blacks, even after repeated prompting from this reporter that Hofmeyr has a poor race relations record.
Hofmeyr has flown the old South Africa flag at his gigs and spoken derisively of black people.
“I’ve heard people say he’s done this or that,” Lekota says. “Of myself, I’ve never heard him say those things. I’ve actually attended one of his shows.”
He wants examples of what Hofmeyr has done wrong and insists that, from what he knows about the controversial entertainer-cum-activist, he “is not one to take the law into his own hands”.
“If you know of something he has done that is wrong, go to the police, whose responsibility it is to arrest him so he can explain himself in court,” Lekota says.
“We cannot maintain law and order by acting outside of the law ourselves. And he is saying: let’s go to the police station to lay a charge against Andile because he wants to kill white people. He says: I don’t want to take the law into my own hands. If you and I know that he’s done wrong, let the courts decide.”
Lekota says Hofmeyr’s Toekoms-vonk (the future shines) is a good body with equally noble intentions.
Lekota speaks good Afrikaans.
Hofmeyr is not the only strange bedfellow the once fiery Minister of Defence has been in cahoots with lately. He sings the praises of Afrikaner right-wing lobby group AfriForum, whose chief executive Kallie Kriel is on record as having said that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
Lekota referred this reporter to the founding statement of AfriForum that he enthuses about. “Why did they set it up?” he asks rhetorically.
In his wisdom, Lekota thinks AfriForum must be judged on what its founding fathers envisaged, not what people say about it.
He says it is an organisation founded on the idea that we must live within the prescripts of our Constitution.
He speaks to the Afrikaner rights lobbyists because they share his own respect for the Constitution.
He says he tells them: “We went to jail so that you and I must enjoy equal rights. You must be the first ones to respect this Constitution.
“Don’t give other people the excuse to do wrong things to you. But if they do, go to the police. We will stand side by side with you. But if there are white people who do wrong, we expect you to stand side by side with us.
“Black solidarity must not be seen as anti-whitism,” he says. “I went to jail for black consciousness. We were not fighting for Mngxitama to kill white people.”
Lekota says he will go to Rupert, whose late father, Anton, he knew well, to establish exactly what he said to invite Mngxitama’s ire.
The Sunday Independent