6 April 2010

Zimbabwe: Malema Salutes President's Stance Against West

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Firebrand politician and expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

Harare — ANC Youth League president Cde Julius Malema has lauded President Mugabe as one of the few African leaders with guts to stand against the wishes of the West.

Cde Mugabe, he said, has a strong history as a peace-loving leader who does not encourage political violence.

Addressing journalists at State House yesterday after meeting with the President, Cde Malema said some African leaders were even afraid of the unborn children of imperialists.

Earlier, President Mugabe had appraised Cde Malema and his delegation on the history of the liberation struggle and the relationship between Zanu-PF and the ANC.

He advised Cde Malema that he should never sacrifice ANC principles on the altar of expediency. He said Zanu-PF and the ANC shared the trenches during the liberation struggle and continue to do so as they fight to empower their people.

He said when the imperialists colonised Africans they turned the people into semi-slaves and changed their way of living while at the same time denying them education because they feared that once enlightened the people would fight.

"Do not sacrifice principles on the altar of expediency. Do not be opportunistic. Principles should be principles. They should never be sacrificed," he said.

Cde Mugabe said when Zanu-PF and the ANC took up arms to fight they had realised that whites were only here to amass wealth and were not committed to the welfare of indigenous people.

He said at independence, Zanu-PF espoused the policy of reconciliation because the struggle was not against individuals but policies that they advanced.

"When we got independence we did not see the reason to punish anyone. We said let bygones be bygones. We forgive but do not forget," he said.

Cde Mugabe chronicled the history of the land reform programme and how Britain and America reneged on their promises to finance land reforms. He said some white former farmers had tried to fight the land reform programme through the Sadc Tribunal adding that the tribunal "does not have power over us".

Cde Mugabe attacked some black elites for thinking the economy should remain in the hands of whites simply because some of them are chief executives.

Soon after his closed-door meeting with the President, Cde Malema said many people draw inspiration from President Mugabe's leadership.

"President Mugabe is amongst very few African leaders who can say no. Many leaders are scared of children of imperialists and their grandchildren and even the unborn children of imperialists," he said.

Earlier Cde Mugabe said founders of the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union, must be shaking in their graves because many African leaders are agreeing to the divisive politics of the West.

Cde Malema said whites will never abandon Zimbabwe because of the land reform programme because there is nowhere in the world they would own so much land.

"All capitalists are now accepting the land reform as a policy of Government and are beginning to co-operate. They are not talking of going away. They will never own the hectares they have here if they leave. They have nowhere to run to," he said.

Cde Malema said his delegation had learnt a number of valuable lessons in Zimbabwe with regard to the land reform and empowerment of the indigenous people. The ANC Youth League, he said, had copied some of the lessons for implementation in South Africa.

"President Mugabe, like President Mandela, fought for us to gain political freedom. It is up to us to take it further. We are going to strengthen youth movements in Southern Africa and progressive countries in Latin America," he said.

He defended the singing of the liberation war song Dubula Ibhunu (Kill the Boer) saying he was much younger than the song. He said liberation luminaries such as Chris Hani, Oliver Tambo among others, sang the song.

He dismissed allegations that the recent killing of the Afrikaner supremacist, Eugene Terre'blanche, was linked to the song.

He said he would continue singing the song because it forms part of the liberation history.

"We feel very proud when we sing the song. I will continue singing the song. If anybody wants to assassinate me they will find me ready. If they kill me they will not eat me," he said.

He said the ANC Youth League had invited Zanu-PF to send a team to understudy how the ANC campaigns and woos the people.

Responding to a question on his attack of the MDC-T, Cde Malema said the party had started the fight and should not force him to visit them.

"The MDC-T was the first to insult us. Unprovoked they held a Press conference in Sandton and insulted us. Then you expect us to be nice. We are visiting our friend. You cannot force us to visit you," he said.

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