The EFF leader deflected from allegations that he received VBS money by complaining that people don’t worry as much when whites and Indians are corrupt.
Speaking on Friday at the EFF’s Manifesto Consultation Assembly in Sandton, EFF leader Julius Malema shrugged off a week of damning allegations of criminal corruption against him, and he was back in full speech mode.
The gathering heard from and discussed the concerns of numerous black professionals in the country and touched on everything from how some find it difficult to progress in corporations, the lack of transformation in agriculture, skills development, challenges in the education sector, and more.
EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu undertook to use the feedback they had heard to challenge the existing status quo and its laws.
He said: “We must deconstruct the white capitalist system and in a manner that is sustainable. We must also discuss black economic unity. We feed white economic arrogance and white economic dominance.”
Malema picked up from Shivambu and said they were “collecting ideas from the people who are directly involved in these professions”.
“You ought to tell us what needs to happen when we take over power.”
He criticised black people who do work for each other for not showing enough professionalism.
“White people come because there is a lack of professionalism among us as black people. You give work to black lawyers, and a simple thing of discharging a letter will not be done. If you are an attorney and, by 11 you are at home, then you must know something is wrong with you.”
He said that before they could “crush the white system, let us build a working system because we may crush the white system and find that we do not have a system in place”.
“Let us use the system of white monopoly capital and push them out gradually. We are going to take the land and gradually develop ourselves.”
He hit out at alleged white racism, which he claimed would not stand for equality with black people.
Malema spoke at length about the need to embrace African approaches to society and business and build industries for black people that would be fully owned by them. At one point, he used the example of African traditional medicine, which he claimed was scientifically proven to be as effective as Western medicine, but isn’t as well regarded.
“Let us recognise African medicines; let us recognise traditional healers; let us subside and finance them. Those who wish to use traditional medicines should have these services available to them.”
Finally, turning to the allegations that he and Shivambu received money illegally from VBS Mutual Bank, he said: “We must fight corruption because corruption is what undermines leadership. We must fight it, especially if it happens among us.
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“But there is a problem because it is only defined as corruption when it is done by an African person. It’s not corruption when it is done by Indians or whites.
“Today they call the EFF corrupt because they want to suppress EFF, so that it becomes so scared to speak about corruption because you’ll say ‘corruption’ and they will respond ‘VBS’.
“[President Cyril] Ramaphosa killed the people in Marikana but he is considered a leader. He takes money from Bosasa and he is not called a looter. When Ramaphosa speaks, no one says your son. When Pravin [Gordhan] speaks, no one says your daughter but when Malema speaks, they say your cousin.”
An investigative report revealed this week that about R1.8 million was allegedly paid to the EFF as the “proceeds of crime” and that both Malema and Shivambu would have known this while participating in the alleged scheme involving Shivambu’s brother and Malema’s cousin through a network of front companies.
Malema finished with the instruction: “Vuka darkie! It is time now to close ranks and go with a party that fights for black people unashamedly. We are not fighting against white people, we are fighting for black people.”
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)