Former ANC Youth league leaders are allegedly giving women who have accused them of sexual harassment money to keep quiet.
This claim was made by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema – a former youth league leader himself – on the sidelines of a breakfast with elders in Brakpan, Ekurhuleni, on Wednesday.
Although Malema did not mention any names, he said: “The ones that have led us nationally before I became president, not a single one of them [has been] accused of sexual harassment. Some of them are paying to silence the victims.”
Malema said the reason why they had not been exposed was because they were paying their victims money to silence them.
“Some of them ... you don’t know about them ... because they are paying to silence the victims. Once leaders are accused of such things you must know there is lack of maturity. There is a complete lack of maturity among the generation that came before us.”
Former youth league leaders who led before Malema include Fikile Mbalula, who is now the ANC’s head of elections, and former finance minister Malusi Gigaba.
Malema’s remarks came at a time when the ANC was trying to recover from sexual harassment and rape accusations involving its national spokesperson Pule Mabe and the party’s head of presidency Zizi Kodwa. Both Mabe and Kodwa have temporarily stepped aside.
READ: Zizi Kodwa accused of rape
Malema also tore into current ANC leaders, labelling them fools.
“Most of the people who are leading the ANC now are the people I have led. And I know they are fools. They can’t think. They will never beat me. None of them are thinkers.”
He mentioned ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala, ANC Limpopo provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane, Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane and Gauteng’s head of election Lebogang Maile as among the non-thinkers.
“Lebogang tried to contest me. You must ask him what happened to him. These are not players, man. These are clowns. I know all of them.”
READ: ANC closes sexual harassment case against Pule Mabe
Veteran journalist Karima Brown was also not spared Malema’s wrath. He said Brown was a state agent working for state security.
“Karima is not a journalist. She is not an editor. She is not governed by the bodies that govern journalists and editors. She is just an individual who hosts a show and therefore she will be treated as such. She is a state agent. I think she is an operative. I think she is working for state security.”
On Tuesday night, Malema tweeted that Brown accidentally sent notes to the EFF media WhatsApp group suggesting ways to cover a meeting between Malema and the elders on Wednesday morning.
“Keep an eye out for this. Who are these elders. Are they all male and how are they chosen,” reads the message.
This was seen as spying by the EFF. Malema tweeted that Brown was sending moles to its meeting with elders.
EFF supporters then hurled insults at Brown, with one saying: “to hell with you, go back to Europe …You’ll never be important in our motherland ever.” Another labelled Brown an “Indian whore”.
However, Malema said the EFF had not issued an instruction to its members to attack Brown.
“You see this thing of trying to create an impression that EFF people are mental hospital patients is wrong. That everytime they act in an irrational manner … they can’t think on their own. I think that EFF members are well upstairs. They can differentiate between wrong and right and they will never do anything to harm our democracy and anyone in this country. This narrative that continues to suggest that they are mad is how black people are being viewed,” Malema.
In response to Malema’s comments about Brown, the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) condemned Malema’s actions, after he posted a screenshot on social media showing Brown’s number.
“Malema published the cellphone number of Brown and shortly thereafter his supporters began a barrage of insults against her – calling her, among other derogatory names, ‘an Indian whore and bitch’ and levelling insults, threatening her life, and accusing her of allegedly sending moles to spy on them.
“We call on the EFF leadership to stop with this vicious attack on the media and allow journalists to do their work without fear and intimidation. The attacks on women in media in particular and the abuse levelled against them is contrary to the spirit of wanting to protect women in a country where violence against women has reached pandemic levels.”
Malema hinted once again that he would be the president of the country one day.
“I want to be president. I don’t bargain for anything less than that. And you can be president by the way even without winning elections. I’m going to be president of this country. You must know that. I don’t play misinformed politics. I always make calculated moves,” Malema said.
Malema added that he did not have a relationship with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“We are colleagues who, from time to time, will meet to exchange the notes particularly on issues of national importance. If I had a relationship with Cyril I will not contest him. I’m contesting him now I don’t think he is fit to be president. By the way the things that Terror (Cope leader Mosioua Lekota) said about him I have heard them before. Why would I have a relationship with such a character. I heard so many devastating and scary stories about him. That’s why I never agree that such a person should be left uncontested. I have never been to his house. We have always met in public places and in state-owned buildings.”
Last month, Lekota labelled Ramaphosa an apartheid spy.
At the meeting between Malema and the elders, senior citizens from Tsakane and Daveyton praised Malema for hosting a breakfast for them.
“When you celebrate with old people, you are effectively saying you are not ashamed of who you are,” Malema said.
One elder said had it not been for Malema South Africa would have been sold to the Indians. Several took out their cellphones to capture photographs of him.
Another said:” I am leaving the ANC.” In response, others shouted: “Leave.”