26 June 2012

Namibia: Malema's Visit Not Political Party Connected

THE public lecture that will feature expelled African National Congress youth league president, Julius Malema, is a private event and is not connected to any political party, one of the organisers, Henny Seibeb has said.

The outspoken Malema is set to address an audience in Windhoek on July 5 under the topic "Towards the African Youth Manifesto: Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime". The lecture is in memory of former Nanso leader, the late Chris Hawala.

Seibeb, a Swapo Party Youth League member who works at the party's head office as an assistant to secretary general, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, told The Namibian yesterday that people should not associate the youth event to Swapo, nor the ANC.

Ithana said she was unable to comment because she was busy preparing for a meeting.

"Why didn't you call earlier. I am preparing to go into an important meeting," she said.

According to Seibeb, a group of friends of the late Hawala have organised the event but Seibeb declined to provide names of those behind it, nor did he want to explain what the money raised will be used for. It is "private information", he said.

A ticket to the event will cost N$250.

"If Zahara comes to Namibia, will you ask where the money will go?" he asked, adding that their hope is to set up a Hawala Trust Fund.

Despite distancing political parties from the event, the poster marketing the event states that Malema is the "ANC youth league president".

Seibeb however admitted that the poster was "maybe a mistake" and there is no connection at all.

As liberation movements, Swapo and the ANC leadership enjoy a good relationship and it will seem as undermining South Africa's ruling party if Swapo is to organise the event.

Malema was part of an a ANC delegation led by President Jacob Zuma that visited Namibia in 2008.

Seibeb said the former youth leader's public lecture will touch on topics such as land and nationalisation.

The fiery Malema was expelled in April this year for sowing divisions within the party.

He was recently in Zimbabwe, were he reportedly told the media there that Zuma should not be the mediator in Zimbabwe's long-running crisis.

Meanwhile, Job Amupanda, a student of politics, said it does not matter who brings Malema to the country.

"He is an opinion leader to this generation, we need to recognise that. It does not matter wether he is the youth league president or not. He is part of a generation with one aim, and that is, economic freedom among young people," he said.

Amupanda said he is not surprised that young people went above organisational structures to bring Malema to Namibia, adding that politics and division in South Africa's ruling party should not diverge attention from issues affecting young people on the continent.

Malema stirred a national debate on poverty and called the government to nationalise mines and seize white-owned farms.

"He is a young leader who is providing guidance to young people," he said.

Some people are of the opinion that Malema does not have anything in common with the late Hawala and thus questioning the motive behind inviting Malema.

However, Amupanda insisted that the late Hawala "distinguished himself as a revolutionary and condemned capitalism".

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