I'll fly Malema to Timbuktu, offers minister

An Eastern Cape minister has offered to pay for African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema to fly to Timbuktu until after the April elections.

Christian Martin, who is provincial minister for public works and an African National Congress (ANC) member, made the offer in a letter published in the Star newspaper on Wednesday.

“Julius, you are a genuine 24-car[a]t disgrace to our youth,” he wrote.

He also said Malema was “a good example of what an ANC Youth League president should not be”.

“All political parties have their own mavericks as every family has an individual whom you would rather not have at home when there are visitors of note.

“I am willing to sponsor a flight for Malema to Timbuktu until after the elections.”

Last week Inkatha Freedom Party MP Koos van der Merwe described Malema in Parliament as the “grand hero” of opposition parties.

He said he was so grateful for Malema’s “unstinting efforts to win votes for the opposition” that he was prepared to start a fund to contribute to his expenses.

Malema was last year brought to heel by the ANC over his statement that he would “kill for Zuma”.

This week he apologised to Education Minister Naledi Pandor for describing her as a “spoiled minister” who spoke in a “fake accent”.

Provincial minister Martin, quoting a verse from the Bible, said he believed he was being urged “from heaven” by dead ANC stalwarts such as Albert Luthuli and Oliver Tambo to speak out.

“Malema cannot be allowed to go out on platforms and disrespect our ministers and others with whom he disagrees,” he wrote.

“This attitude should not be entertained or tolerated.”

He said the league should use its “well-mannered” deputy president Andile Lungisa to address the youth, and should ban Malema permanently from the public eye.

Malema’s cellphone voicemail was on Wednesday morning not accepting messages, and Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu had no immediate comment.—Sapa

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