Malema: Love gay people

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Felix Karlsson, M&G)

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Felix Karlsson, M&G)

In an acerbic speech on Thursday outside the high court in Polokwane – where he heard that charges of corruption against him will remain – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)? leader Julius Malema told the crowd to "love gay people ... It's their choice."

Malema was also intent on speaking out about HIV. "Some of you are HIV-positive but you are ashamed, you're not telling your family. Don't feel under pressure to tell anyone. Gather the necessary courage and tell those who love you. We love you. I'm proud of you. No one has the right to judge you.

"We love those who have HIV and Aids in the world. We love all the gay people in South Africa and the world."

Malema was in fine form as he lashed out at the ANC and Cosatu, while praising Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for being "an economic freedom fighter".

Malema said Madikizela-Mandela is the only remaining revolutionary and that he wishes she could be made president before she dies. He also slammed claims that advocate Dali Mpofu had an affair with Madikizela-Mandela, saying it was a plot "by boers because they couldn't have a revolutionary sleeping next to Mandela".

Malema also took a swipe at President Jacob Zuma: "Young girls and women, when you see him [Zuma], you must run away."

Malema charges remain in force
The charges against Malema remain in force, the court ruled on Thursday. "I will have the matter postponed and charges are not withdrawn," Judge Ephraim Makgoba said. "I see no prejudice on both parties in bringing this matter forward."

He said the case against Malema would go ahead next year as scheduled, unless the National Prosecuting Authority decided to drop the charges against him. "The matter can be brought forward after the director of prosecution has made a ruling by April." 

Malema faces charges of fraud, corruption, money-laundering and racketeering. His trial will be heard from September 30 to October 31 next year.

It is alleged that he made nearly R4-million from corrupt activities. He is out on R10 000 bail. His four co-accused, who are his business associates, are out on bail of R40 000 each.

Meanwhile, outside the court, the firebrand EFF leader said: "[The EFF] is the only organisation that said it will fight for the rights of women. We [the EFF] don't see women as tools in the bedroom. We see them as equal partners in the struggle for the African revolution.

"Victims of rape and abuse: as long as you survive, keep strong. Teach others to survive. Those of you in abusive relationships, those of you who have been raped and are not reporting it because you are ashamed, your home is EFF. Come report to us, you will not be judged." – Additional reporting by Sapa

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