Juju makes WikiLeaks

10 December 2010 - 01:50 By AMUKELANI CHAUKE

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema says his statement that former president Thabo Mbeki thought he was "too clever" was not classified information.

The latest batch of leaked diplomatic dispatches released by WikiLeaks and published by the British Guardian newspaper show Malema said Mbeki lost the support of the ANC Youth League because he thought he was "too clever".

He reportedly also said President Jacob Zuma was a victim of conspiracy in 2007 when rape charges were levelled against him before the ANC's Polokwane leadership conference.

Mbeki suspended Zuma as deputy president.

According to the leaked document, when Malema was asked what made the youth league stop supporting Mbeki, he said: "'[He] thinks he's too clever for all of us and he won't engage with us."

But Malema's spokesman Floyd Shivambu said yesterday the youth league leader's support for Zuma and his comments about Mbeki were already public knowledge.

"There is nothing classified about this, he has openly said it several times and he has said that Mbeki thought he was too powerful. It is not like some secret thing. Those views are true," Shivambu said.

According to the leaked document, Malema, who was the youth league's Limpopo secretary at the time, was interviewed by US diplomats. He "admitted that then youth league president Fikile Mbalula did not want to support Zuma during the rape trial but that the regional leadership insisted, arguing that if the youth league defended Zuma on corruption charges, they could defend him on rape charges since both acts are immoral".

Shivambu said the league was not aware of such reports about Mbalula, now the minister of sports and recreation.

The league was "not interested" in the leaked documents" and "had other things to focus on", Shivambu said.

Yesterday, Mbalula said he was "shocked and dismayed by the alleged claims made about me" in a report revealed by WikiLeaks.

"I want to state on record that in my capacity as the president of the ANC Youth League, I was never in any doubt whatsoever about the then deputy president of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, during the rape trial and I have always believed in his innocence," Mbalula said.

The US diplomats asked Malema who the youth league would have supported had Zuma been found guilty of rape and jailed.

Malema named then ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe, now deputy president, but added: "Motlanthe is brilliant, you can't understand anything he says."

Mbeki's spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu declined to comment on the leaked documents.