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Sat Oct 22 03:54:32 SAST 2016

Julius Malema's SONA debate speech: When you are telling a so called good story here

Julius Malema | 17 February, 2015 16:14
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema arrives with members of his party for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address in Cape Town.
Image by: POOL / REUTERS

We are here to debate the State of the Nation Address, taking note of the fact that when it was presented we were not in here because the speaker ordered police to forcibly remove and assault us for asking a simple question of when are you, Mr. President, going to pay back the money.

There is no doubt that you unduly benefitted from the construction of your private residence in Nkandla, and in our absence from this parliament, you never said anything about the fact that you unduly benefitted, and must pay back the money. That is a question for another day and you will answer that question on a different date.

When we were away from the chambers, being assaulted, harassed and manhandled by the police, we know that you rhetorically mentioned the fact that 2015 represents the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter, yet nothing you said connects Government Project to the Peoples Manifesto and Liberation Program, the Freedom Charter.

You said, “The year 2015 is the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. It is the year of going the extra mile in building a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa”

As a matter of fact, before our leadership of the Youth Movement, there was no mention of economic Freedom in the former liberation movement and its entire literature.

We started with the conceptualisation of the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime and said it is fundamentally about the attainment of all Freedom Charter objectives, with No Retreat and No Surrender! We said Asijiki towards total attainment of the Freedom Charter objectives through a radical and militant struggle for economic freedom.

We do not have a problem with anyone mentioning the struggle for economic freedom and the Freedom Charter, but whosoever does so must acknowledge that it started when we led the Youth Movement. Failure to quote that this started under our political and ideological leadership is PLAGIARISM.

Those who claim that we stole the struggle for economic freedom from the Youth League are also misled, because we came with it and Left with it and currently the only ones who can speak with authority about the contemporary meaning of the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime. That is why we called the ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS.

When we speak about the Freedom Charter, we always mention the reality that when it was adopted in 1955, the Freedom Charter was never a programme of the ANC, such that when it was adopted by the ANC in 1956, it led to a split which genuinely questioned the notion that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. This is the question that must still be answered because since dispossession by Colonizers, it looks like SA belongs to white people only. They own everything and control our lives and the lives of politicians of the ruling party.

What you said here in our absence, and when the police were assaulting women, breaking their jaws and fracturing their chins, pulling us by our private parts, is not consistent with what the Freedom Charter says, and we are here back in these chambers to expose you to that reality.

The NDP: Vision 2030 is the official programme of the ANC, adopted in your 53rd National Conference, and this program is light years away from the Freedom Charter, thus mention of  is meant to mislead the people of South Africa. What we know about the Freedom Charter, which the ANC government will never implement are the following:

The Freedom Charter says ‘the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industries shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole” and in your address here, you never said anything about transfer of banks to the people, but complained about banking fees. You never said anything about the transfer of Mines and Minerals to the people, but referred the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act because white monopoly capital in the form of TOTAL and Exxon Mobil said they do not agree with the Act.

Private capital, in the form of banks, continue to hold millions of South Africans under debt and many live in homes they do not own, they drive cars they do not own, and use household furniture they do not own. South African banks own many of the houses South Africans call their homes. This is the state of the nation.

The Freedom Charter says ‘all other trade and industry shall be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people”. What we know is that the ANC Is committed to free-market capitalism and will never control trade for the benefit of the people. Many goods and services imported into South Africa do not have tariffs, even on areas where the rightwing and neo-liberal Godfathers, the World Trade Organisation say you can have tariffs.

In fact your NDP attributes blame to the organized trade union movement and its demand of minimum wages for the high levels of unemployment. Like GEAR and ASGI SA it advocates for a flexible labour market.

The Freedom Charter says ‘land shall be shared amongst those who work it’. What we know is that the ANC has dismally failed to redistribute land and will continue to buy land from those who stole it, despite their admission that the willing-buyer willing-seller approach to land redistribution has dismally failed.

It is not a secret that only the EFF campaigned on the banning of foreign ownership of the land. It is only the elections Manifesto of the EFF which categorically said that there will be no foreign land ownership in South Africa. Thus, your proposal to implement this demands is as a result of how sharply we had raised it in society broadly. However, you went on to say you will be limiting private ownership of land to 12 000 hectors.

All credible indicators in South Africa, illustrates the fact that our country has 14, 753 000 (about 14 million seven hundred and fifty three thousand) hectares of arable land. With your formula Mr. President, if we were to allocate this arable land at 12, 000 hectares per person, only 1229 people will have land. That is not even 1% of the people of South Africa.

Langa alone is equals to 309 hectares, Gugulethu equals 649 hectares, Umlazi equals 4 746 hectares, Mdantsane quals 4 555, and Marikana equals 1 754 hectares. All these combined amount to a little over 12 000 hectares, meaning for you Mr. President, one person can own the townships of Langa, Gugulethu, Umlazi, Mdantsane and Mariakana combined. And you think  with this proposal you are declaring this year the year of the Freedom Charter?

With your formula, an arable land the size of Soweto would only be given to 2 people because Soweto is 12 000 hactres. The Freedom Charter says “LAND SHALL BE SHARED AMONGST THOSE WHO WORK IT”.

Let us take it further, the Freedom Charter says, “All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose”.

But homeless people in the Lusaka community in Mamelodi East when they occupied unoccupied land your government sent police to forcefully remove them. In Nelmephius, where 7000 people had singed up for houses, your government not only sent police to forcefully remove them, it also sought a court interdict to disallow them from occupying unoccupied municipal land.

In Sasolburg, Zamdela, when homeless people occupied unoccupied land, again your government sent police, not blankets, water, or electricity; and many were arrested and today face criminal charges, all for asking to call South Africa their home.

Your government cannot implement the land clause of the Freedom Charter because it has no commitment to the homeless. It also has no commitment to genuine decolonisation. If you do not know Mr. President, land occupation struggles are happening everywhere in the country, under the bridges in big Cities, and by the road sides in major towns and metropolitan areas. In addition, you still need to build over 2 million homeless people houses least you perpetrate their hobo status into a permanent condition.

The Freedom Charter says ‘the doors of learning and culture shall be opened”. What we know is that the ANC government has dismally failed to provide free quality education at post-secondary level and has not built adequate capacity to absorb the entirety of students who exit the secondary schooling level.

An average of Forty Nine percent of the learners who should have set for exams in 2014 dropped out of school; your government cannot tell us where they are, what are they doing and under what circumstances. Mr. President, the is the state of the nation.

By the admission of your own government, only 204 522 new entrant opportunities at universities were available this year. This is despite the fact that of the 532 860 grade 12 pupils who wrote matric in 2014, only 403 874 pupils passed with marks that allow them to study in tertiary universities either for a degree, diploma or a higher certificate. Your however, government cannot tell us what will happen to those who cannot find schooling; a number totalling – 199 352. This is the state of the nation.

We are told  that thousands of students at Wits University have no place to stay, they sleep in libraries and corridors of university buildings like all the hobos you keep shooting at in the townships. This is the state of the nation.

It is a fact that in the academic year 2015, 90 000 students applied for admission at the University of KwaZulu Natal, and only 7000 could be admitted and still the University cannot give Financial Aid to all academically derserving but needy students.

The Freedom Charter says “Child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.” Your own government in 2013 reported that “the number of children affected [by child labour] still remains.. at an estimated 821 000”. What is the state of these children Mr. President? Tell us, why are they not in school?

In 2012 the labour movement reported that “Checkers employs about 73,000 [workers and] only 35% are permanent earning a minimum of R4,000 – 60% are supplied by Labour brokers earning a minmum of R1,800.” “Pick n Pay employs 36,538, only 16,000 are full time earning a minimum of R4,500. The rest are part time earning a minimum of R2,000.” “At Woolworths it’s estimated that the ratio is 70% casuals and 30% permanent.” This excludes workers in hotels, restaurants, mining and construction sectors”. What is the state of these workers Mr. President? And tell us, have they realised the Freedom Charter?

The Freedom Charter also says, “Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, crèches and social centres”. What we know is that 21 years since the first inclusive elections with the ANC in power, more than 15% of the South African population lives in slums and informal settlements without basic services. In fact those with houses like in Zamdela, Mothutlung, Mohlakeng and Malaulele do not have basic services.

The people of Malamulele are part of Limpopo’s 2nd biggest local municipality called Thulamela, and the biggest is Polokwane. Due to lack of infrastructure inherited from apartheid, this 2nd biggest Municipality.

Your Government is refusing to give the people of Malamulele a Municipality because they are poor, forgetting that the poverty of Malamulele was worsened by lack of Government services and infrastructure.

The Malamulele Town has not seen many changes since 1994, the villages of Shikundu, Mphambo, Madonsi, Mavambe, Jimmy Jones, Mahonisi, and all the villages have not seen real development and they are within their right to demand a Government which will be closer to them.

We want to promise you that your attitude will never take this country forward, and if you continue doing what you are doing, such will lead to political and social instability. Do not reduce genuine demands of the people to tribalism, because without proper explanations of what causes their continued suffering and exclusion, people will always look for easier reasons.

The Freedom Charter says “South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation – not war”. Yet your government Mr. President in involved in the illegal wars in Chad, the DRC and Central African Republic. It also voted for the brutal killing of Maummar Gaddafi in collusion with imperialist forces.

The Freedom Charter also says “Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all” but your government killed workers in Marikana and continues to do everything in its power to undo peace through police brutality including in this parliament.

You shall be known as the President who brought violence and not peace from the workers in Marikana, right to this honorable house. You shall be known as the president whose rule violated the fundamental rights of members of parliament to hold the executive accountable.

You shall be known as President the hooligan because you use hooligan tactics to silence the opposition duly elected to represent aspirations of ordinary and poor South Africans. Only a program based on the mission of economic freedom in our lifetime can truly change the lives of our people. And that program is only found in the EFF.

When you are telling a so called good story here, the children on Zenzele informal settlement do not have water.

When you are telling a so called good story here, the children of Sxwetla sleep side by side with rats.

When you are telling a so called good story here, Mineworkers continue to suffer indignity in the belly of the earth

When you are telling a so called good story here, Mothutlung does not have water.

When you are telling a so called good story here, Mokgalakwena has no government and factions of the ruling party are fighting over who should steal more.

When you are telling a so called good story here, the women of Princess Magogo have no sanitary towels.

We have to save these people by removing you from political office and take political power on behalf of the people.

Whatever it takes, and however long it takes, by whatever revolutionary means, we will take over this country with the aim of total liberation and emancipation.

No amount of violence and harassment will stop us from taking over this country on behalf of the people.

We will do everything in our power because we are a generation with a mission, a generation of ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS.

We shall overcome!


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