Mama Winnie should have been president: Malema

03 April 2018 - 14:22 By Penwell Dlamini
EFF leader Julius Malema addresses party supporters after visiting the family home of Anti-Apartheid Activist Winnie Madikizela Mandela in Orlando West, Soweto.
EFF leader Julius Malema addresses party supporters after visiting the family home of Anti-Apartheid Activist Winnie Madikizela Mandela in Orlando West, Soweto.
Image: The Sunday Times/ Alaister Russell

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema says the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela should have been president of the country but forces within the ANC could not allow this to happen.

“Winnie Mandela [was] a stone that was rejected by the builders. Winnie Mandela‚ the president we did not have…who was denied to be president on the basis that she is a female and African. They feared her. Even today‚ they still fear her in death. That is why they continue to call her names…But the masses know the truth‚” Malema said outside Madikizela’s house in Orlando West‚ Soweto on Tuesday.

Malema was accompanied by the leadership of the EFF which included Dali Mpofu‚ Godrich Gardee and Floyd Shivambu.

Malema said Madikizela-Mandela earned the title of being called the mother of the nation.

Julius Malema spoke to a crowd of EFF supporters outside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home on Tuesday, calling for protection of the fallen stalwart who died in Johannesburg on Monday.

“We have lost a fearless fighter‚ a giant and a mother of the nation – a title which was bestowed on her by the people of South Africa. They declared her a mother of the nation – a position you don’t get elected to. You earn the title through the struggles you wage with your people.

“Because Mama was living among her people and has never betrayed her people‚ they gave her the title the mother of the nation. That is what we are here to celebrate – a life of a person who has never looked down on black people‚” he said.

Born Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela‚ the struggle icon died on Monday at the age of 81 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones‚ the family said in an official statement.

Malema lashed at those who were critics of Madikizela-Mandela and were now pretending to have been close friends of hers. “We have seen the people who did not want Mama Winnie frequenting this house and playing some leading role. They want to distort the real Winnie Mandela…

“We know what Mama hated. We know those she did not want next to her because of the things they did to her. We will be monitoring them closely. We will whisper into their ears and if they don’t listen‚ we will call them out publicly‚” Malema said.

He told the crowd which gathered outside Mama Winnie’s house that this was a place he had visited frequently.

“We are proud to be here because we never rejected her. We regarded her as our mother and our leader. We are here to say to the people of South Africa: the spear has fallen and we are here to pick up that spear and continue to fight. When we are here in this home‚ we are not visitors. We are the children of this home. We grew up here‚ we ate food here‚ slept here… we are not coming her because it is fashionable today to come here‚” Malema said.