Malema's rebellion jive
THE ANC Youth League's rebellion against President Jacob Zuma continued yesterday when suspended league president Julius Malema said that ANC leaders should earn their respect and stop banning the league from its rallies.
Speaking to a small group on a dusty soccer field in Kliptown, Soweto, on the occasion of the league's centenary, Malema said the league was the lifeblood of the ANC and that the party leaders should earn its respect and not demand it.
Malema, who is facing a five-year suspension from the ANC for ill-discipline and bringing the party into disrepute, continued to call for a political solution by the party to his suspension and that of five members of the league's executive committee.
"We will liberate ourselves. We will unban ourselves through commitment, through discipline.
"Comrades, people must not confuse fear with respect," Malema said.
"People who don't know politics, they want to be feared. But people who know politics, they know they will gain respect, they will earn respect.
"You cannot find respect in a lucky packet," he said.
Malema's comments were made only a few days after a group of league supporters booed and heckled Zuma in Cape Town when he gave a public lecture about the ANC's second president, Sefako Makgatho.
Yesterday, Malema condemned the heckling, saying that although youth league supporters might be "frustrated" by the ANC's refusal to meet them, they should not resort to ill-discipline.
"The conduct in Cape Town is incorrect no matter how frustrated we can be, no matter how angry we may be. Shouting and howling when the president of the ANC is speaking can never be correct. He remains president of the ANC until you elect the new president."
Though Malema has refused to talk about his relationship with Zuma, league supporters have, behind the scenes, pushed for Zuma to be replaced by his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, at the party's elective conference in Mangaung in December.
They also want the league's former boss, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, to succeed ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
Yesterday, Malema, flanked by members of his national executive committee and the youth league's provincial leaders, danced to pro-Motlanthe and pro-Mbalula songs, which were accompanied by the hand gesture used by soccer fans when they want a player replaced.
Malema said the ANC should stop banning the youth league from speaking at itsrallies, and complained that he had not been allowed to speak at the ANC centenary celebrations in Mangaung last month.