Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has appealed for mercy for ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, saying he'll improve with age.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has appealed for mercy for ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, according to a report on Tuesday.
“When you are young you go wrong—we fix you and you go wrong again and we fix you, not to destroy you. You cannot destroy a league. So, when they are wrong, just correct them,” Sexwale said in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape at the weekend, according to the Dispatch Online.
“This young man called Malema sometimes does things and speaks a lot. He sometimes lands himself in trouble. Thereafter [he] cries to us to retrieve him from the trouble he puts himself in ... We should not destroy him [Malema] ... Please don’t throw them away, they are too young.”
Sexwale said that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, a former ANC Youth League president, had grown in stature in the past five years.
“You can now see where Mbaks [Mbalula] is going. Yet it was not long ago, just five years ago—wow, Jola [Mbalula’s clan name] was spitting fire. Each time he spoke, we had to douse the fire and fix him and take him to task, but we never destroyed him.
“Look at him now. He made many mistakes as a youth. What would have happened had we destroyed him? We make a mistake and people say ‘let us destroy the individual’. No, no! It is not the way it should be,” Sexwale reportedly told a crowd at a heritage celebration.
Sexwale was expected to testify in Malema’s defence at his disciplinary hearing, where he faces charges of bringing the African National Congress into disrepute and sowing division within party ranks.
Malema said the youth league would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change. Charged with him are ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi.
The hearing is expected to resume on October 15.—Sapa