Johannesburg – The African National Congress "harboured criminals" and law-enforcement agencies should take action against them, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said on Sunday
"Police officers, it is like you do not know where the thugs are, come to me, I have a list. They are in Luthuli House [ANC headquarters] and in the Union Buildings [seat of government]. You leave the biggest thug to go around addressing in stadiums, he doesn’t belong in the Union Buildings, he belongs in Sun City prison," Malema told thousands of supporters at the EFF’s final May 8 "Tshela Thupa" election rally at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.
"Police officers, you must not be shooting protesters. Demanding justice and fighting are two different things. When we are marching and barricading the roads [it] is because the criminals in the office are not giving us what we demand. Do not shoot at us."
Malema said the governing party had failed to alleviate poverty because it was led by "old people who should either be at old-age homes or in prison" for their alleged crimes.
"25 years and these people have failed to restore the dignity of the African child. Why do we still have ghettos? This place was designed as a prison, that is why you have one entrance. If you were to leave the township at night to go into town you would be arrested," he said.
"Ramaphosa o fedile [is finished]. They are all old, they must retire. Leave them alone and stop sending them. We no longer want mobile toilets, we want flushing toilets at Winnie Mandela squatter camp. The people of Alex, the children are being eaten by rats, ANC has forgotten about the poor of the poorest."
In an emotionally charged and strong-worded speech, Malema made a raft of promises to the electorate, including doubling the amount for social grants and free housing and education. Under an EFF government, black people, and women in particular, would own more than 50 percent of the land because they were the majority in South Africa.
"We want to double the money for the elderly and that of children that receive social grants. We want a proper crèche where there is a settlement. We want a clinic that operates 24 hours. We want free education," Malema said.
"We want you to be able to receive a bond from FNB after you are done voting, whether you are black or not, they should not charge you more because of your skin colour. Political Freedom without economic freedom is meaningless. South Africa, on the 8th of May, let us vote for the hope of the hopeless."
Malema also warned white people who refuse to share land and other means of production that if the EFF came to power it would topple their "white privilege".
"White people you will no longer eat alone. We are coming to sit on the dinner table and if you are refusing us we will destroy that dinner table," he said.
"No one is going to eat until all of us in South Africa eat from the same dinner table. That is what we are fighting for. Otherwise, sizongena ngevosho [We will come dancing the vosho] in that dinner table."
The young generation of white people should extend an olive branch to black people and work to reverse injustices of the past, which their parents "failed to understand".
"EFF is fighting for equality. We are not fighting against white people, we are fighting against white privilege, we are fighting against white arrogance. We are not fighting for black people to oppress white people, we are fighting for equality," Malema said.
"We want economic freedom even for white people. We have a problem with older white people, who do not want equality. Young white people, you must find a home within the EFF if you are also fighting for equality."
Earlier in his speech, Malema said his grandmother, Koko Sarah Malema who died earlier this weekend, was everything to him and had always inspired and believed in him.
"My grandmother meant everything to me, if it was not for her I would not be here. She was with me and my family during difficult times, she provided leadership because she know she had no option but to hold the knife where it is sharpest.
"My confidante is no more, the person who always believed in me and always encouraged me to soldier on. Even when we went through recent difficult times, she stood by me and has always supported me.
Malema said he would soldier on and address the "Tshupa Thela" elections rally because Koko Sara would have wanted him to soldier on.
"Comrades, I am happy to be here. My grandmother knew I would be here today and she left me in the good hands of the ground forces. My family appreciates all messages of condolences, we appreciate that and it is those messages that keep us going," he said.
Koko Sarah died at her home in Seshego, Polokwane in Limpopo on Saturday morning. She will be buried this coming weekend.
African News Agency/ANA