Julius Malema claims there to arrest and even to assassinate him. The former ANC Youth leader was reacting to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s veiled warning this week that his actions were unlawful and a chargeable offence.
Malema said: “I received information from high sources in state institutions who are warning me to take cover for some time. They said ‘there are people who are assigned to take you out’,” said Malema.
“I am not going to stop to be with the masses of our people, if I am invited I will go. Soldiers invited me, I have got a list of invitations from squatter camps, those striking in Lephalale (in Limpopo), staff from Human Rights Commission, and Black Lawyers Association.”
In his report to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) this week, Mantashe painted a picture of mavericks trying to create no-go “liberated” zones such as those created by Renamo rebels in the Mozambican liberation struggle.
Mantashe warned – without making a direct reference to Malema – that “our laws are explicit in that incitement is unlawful and a chargeable offence”.
Since the Marikana massacre, Malema has fashioned himself as a revolutionary leader fighting for the miners and addressing disgruntled soldiers at a time when the ANC leadership is accused of failing to show leadership on the crisis.
Mantashe’s report cautioned that “counter-revolution always exploits genuine grievances and uses revolutionary language to win support”.
“The strongest pointer to this direction is the attempt to incite soldiers… An attempt to incite the armed forces, as noted by some of the disgruntled, suggesting violence as an option after a recent meeting places the country and its security on a slippery slide,” Mantashe told the NEC.
“The Marikana tragedy has been exploited by many forces, among them Malema, and the Friends of the Youth League, the opposition, a section of the clergy and some within the the ANC.
“The drive to spread the conflict to the gold mining sector, coupled with a call for a national strike in the industry is dangerous. Only when a state is genuinely illegitimate can incitement be either justified or even condoned,” states Mantashe’s report.
Mantashe’s warning comes as some leaders in the party and government feel that Malema must be stopped in his campaign to inflame emotions among miners.
A furious Malema said he was “unshaken” and that he would continue to address “the poor” failed by the ANC leadership.
“I was never part of Marikana until after 48 hours when there was no leadership. I needed to give our people hope, and support. If supporting people means a slippery road, then he can charge me.
“Instead of providing leadership, people are looking for scapegoats. None of them (ANC leaders) spoke about how to better the workers’ salaries,” he told the Sunday Tribune.
“People come and say we want to talk to you, we are frustrated, I can’t run away from our people,” he said.
“Those who think they have a better political solution and clarity must go to the same people and give them an alternative… If they have ideas, the masses will reject us and opt for them. But the masses have lost confidence in them… How can we be counter-revolutionary when we listen to workers and say they must be with the ANC,” Malema said.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Tribune understands that some senior leaders at the National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM) own national executive committee meeting held this week had asked Motlanthe – former general-secretary of NUM – to speak to Malema with the aim of dissuading him from causing mayhem.
Motlanthe, according to an NUM NEC member who asked not to be named as he was not mandated to discuss the matter publicly, told the union’s senior leaders he would have to consult the ANC leadership.
NUM general-secretary Frans Baleni refused to comment.
Motlanthe’s spokesman Thabo Masebe yesterday referred queries back to the NUM. = Additional reporting by Moshoeshoe Monare – Tribune