A ROBUST and feisty EFF leader Julius Malema has warned President Jacob Zuma’s government that he is not scared of war, violence or even jail.
He said while his party would not start violence or take up arms against innocent people and the government, it would defend itself against a violent state.
Unveiling the EFF’s local government election manifesto at a packed Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Malema also warned the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) against “rigging” the upcoming polls.
Denying that his party promoted violence, Malema said the EFF was a peaceful organisation which was subjected to state violence for daring to challenge the ANC in parliament and in court.
“Every time we fight we are met with violence. When we fight intellectually they bring bouncers to beat us up. No one opens a case against them. When we protest and say ‘you are rigging elections’ they bring the army. No one opens a case against them,” Malema said.
“We are not scared of war. Neither are we sacred of violence. We are not scared of any violent state.”
Two weeks ago, the ANC opened a treason case against Malema for threatening to remove the ruling party from power through the “barrel of a gun” if the state continued to subject the red berets to violence.
The Hawks said they were probing the case.
State Security Minister David Mahlobo this week suggested that the security cluster was also probing Malema and others for alleged espionage.
Malema used his manifesto launch to hit back, saying he was neither scared of nor intimidated by Mahlobo, Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.
“You [Mahlobo] are a small boy. You are an intelligence minister who is not intelligent. We are not scared of you. You must tell Zuma too, we are not scared of him. Zuma will get out of office, whether he likes it or not. He will not be president in 2019,” Malema said to a thunderous response from the party’s rank and file.
The EFF Commander-in-Chief lampooned the ANC for laying the treason charges in the first place.
“Why open a treason case against people who speak the truth? What treason is that? Since when is the truth treason? ANC is led by clowns. That’s why they confuse a truth with treason,” he said.
Accusing the state of persecuting him for speaking truth to power, Malema dared the police to arrest him.
“Anyone who wants to arrest me, here I am. Come and arrest me now. I am not scared of all of us. The only thing that I am scared of is the truth,” he said, adding he was “sleeping peacefully”.
He added: “Let me tell you South Africa, we will never start any violence. We will never take guns at innocent people. Neither can we take guns against an innocent state. But if anyone comes with violence and they think they can intimidate us with violence, we will defend ourselves. We will do anything in our power to defend ourselves.”
Malema accused the IEC of bias against the EFF.
He claimed they rigged the 2014 elections in Gauteng, as well as the Tlokwe by-elections in the North West, for the benefit of the ANC.
“I want to warn the IEC. Please, be like the judiciary. You must be independent,” he said.
“You stole our votes in Alexandra, we allowed you. We defeated the ANC in 2014 in Gauteng. They stole our votes.”
Malema mocked the DA, the official opposition, saying the election was a contest between his party and the ANC.
“There are two parties which are contesting the elections. But I want to tell you there is a third party which is contesting us called the IEC. South Africa, the IEC did that in Tlokwe, the IEC did that in Alexandra. The IEC continues to rig the elections. We are warning you, you will never defeat the power of a black nation.”
He said he would defeat his detractors the same way he defeated apartheid.
Malema also mocked Zuma and other ANC leaders.
The EFF boss said the president’s sugar level had gone up because of the EFF while senior ANC leaders were watching his party’s manifesto launch with a “single eye” because the 40 000-seater stadium was filled to capacity.