Solomon Mahlangu didn’t die for people to get matchbox houses
Pretoria – Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema on Saturday said struggle icon Solomon Mahlangu was inspired by the Black Consciousness Movement to get involved in the armed struggle.
“He was inspired by [the] efforts of Tsietsie Mashinini. Who is Tsietsie Mashinini? He was a member of Black Consciousness and therefore [Mahlangu] was Black Consciousness,” Malema said at the party’s Solomon Mahlangu Memorial Rally at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus.
“Solomon Mahlangu was inspired by Black Consciousness which was a leading movement, as all leaders were in exile and underground. Our people looked up to Steve Biko. Solomon Mahlangu knew Black Consciousness before he knew [the] ANC. He only knew [the] ANC when he went outside the country.”
Malema said those who claimed Mahlangu belonged to the ANC and its different formations were distorting history. He was delivering a memorial lecture in Mahlangu’s birth place of Mamelodi.
He spoke highly of the community’s involvement in the fight against apartheid and asked why the current generation could not follow in the footsteps of Mahlangu and his generation.
People should fight the current trends of corruption to ensure people lived a better life, he said.
“Why are you afraid in Tshwane? Why do you allow people to steal money and not finish projects? Where are you? Where is the Solomon Mahlangu in you? They have been saying RDP houses are coming, but you have been waiting since 1996,” he said.
Malema added that the houses being given to people were a disgrace, and not what Mahlangu gave his life for.
“Solomon didn’t die for you to get matchbox houses. He wanted houses you could be able to move around in, but now they are giving you ones that are even below that. They give you houses that don’t even have bathrooms inside,” said Malema.
He said the EFF wanted to change that and give people dignity.
While Malema was making this undertaking, ANC president Jacob Zuma was telling the crowd at the party’s election manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth that service delivery was at the heart of their efforts to give South Africans a better life.
Liberating blacks does not mean oppressing whites
The world has been conditioned to look down on black people and that has to change, Malema.
“We need to liberate the black race,” Malema told thousands for the Solomon Mahlangu Memorial lecture.
“When I say we need to liberate the black race, don’t think I mean we must oppress the white race. We must be equal and live together as black and white on the same level.”
Malema said the only way for black people to be liberated was through education. He, however, indicated that the education system in the country was not making that possible.
“White people won’t respect you when you are not educated. How do you get educated when schools are expensive,” he said.
Malema told the crowd that they should never be fooled by government and the claims of no-fee schools. He said there was no such a thing.
“They say schools are no-fees, but every Friday children must pay R10 for casual clothes day. When you count all that money at the end of the year, it’s the amount for school fees.
“Don’t just accept things without asking questions. Free education means you must not pay for anything. They are playing with our minds. You must have a questioning mind,” said Malema.
Zuma is not our enemy
President Jacob Zuma is not an enemy of the EFF, but he just happens to be standing in the way of the party and the nation achieving its goals, Malema said in his lecture.
“Don’t think that Zuma is our enemy. Zuma is not our enemy, it’s just that he is standing in the way, and we must remove him to get our land back,” said Malema.
“Zuma is standing between us and our enemy. Move out of the way. Zuma must pave the way because they [whites] are the one who stole our land.”
Malema was addressing a large gathering at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus, where the Economic Freedom Fighters had a memorial lecture on the life of Solomon Mahlangu. He reminded those in attendance that white people had killed blacks during apartheid.
“The whites are the ones who committed black genocide. Who killed Solomon Mahlangu? It was not Zuma, it was the white regime. White people must stop being cry-babies and they must take responsibility,” he said.
Malema said people should never think the party had taken a detour on their fight for land. He said the land would be returned, just like Zuma would pay back the money.
“White people are going to return our land the same way Zuma will return our money. White people must never think we have abandoned the land question. We will never abandon it. We are the land, our identity is our land. We are nothing without our land.”
“We are coming for you. Zuma must pay back the money, the Guptas have left South Africa, and our land must come back. ABSA bank must never think that by closing the Gupta bank account, you are our friend. You are our enemy in SA,” he added.
Malema said the bank represented white monopoly capital, which was an enemy of the EFF
“White monopoly capital is the primary enemy of the EFF. Who is white monopoly capital? It is the Rupert, the Oppenheimer, and all those who benefited illegally from our land. This land is going to be returned, whether you like or not. There is no white man who came with a piece of land,” Malema said.
‘Reconciliation must never replace justice’
He added that people should not ask what blacks would do with the land once it was in their possession.
“What we do with it is none of your business. Solomon Mahlangu died for this land.”
Malema also took issue with those who said the land did not belong to Africans, but to the Khoisan. He said the land belonged to all Africans, including blacks.
Malema called on black people to stop being apologetic for the injustices suffered under apartheid. He urged members to continue fighting for what belonged to them.
He questioned how reconciliation could take place in the country while those who carried out the crimes of apartheid were not known.
“Why must we apologise for being slaves? They say we must reconcile with them. We want to see those who were working at the Gallows hanging people. We want to see their faces. We can’t reconcile with people we don’t know.
“Where are the prosecutors who were recommending death sentences? Where are the judges who sentenced our brothers to death? They must come here, we want to see them.
“Reconciliation must never replace justice. Justice is the return of the land. We must fight for our land,” he said.