Malema preaches forgiveness

African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema preached forgiveness on Thursday, saying South Africa needed to close the chapter on an alleged political conspiracy against ruling party leader Jacob Zuma.

“Let’s go back to 1994 ... those who are saying, ‘let’s arrest’, are not putting the interests of the country first,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.

“[Former chief prosecutor] Bulelani Ngcuka, McCarthy [former Scorpion’s boss Leonard McCarthy], whatever else they did, we should say, as a South African society, let’s close this chapter, let’s move forward.”

In a conciliatory mood, Malema said the league did not support any commission of inquiry into the alleged political conspiracy.

The ANC and the country’s focus should rather be on service delivery, he said.

“If you support commissions, if you support charges, you are effectively saying even when Zuma is not charged, he must go and give evidence against the people because they are charged in relation to him.”

“So again, our president, having not been charged, will still have to go to court to give evidence and that is something we don’t want,” Malema said.

Earlier, the Progressive Youth Alliance called for former president Thabo Mbeki, Ngcuka, McCarthy and others involved in the alleged conspiracy to be arrested.

But Malema said the country should rather focus on delivering to its people.

“If you charge Mbeki you are inviting unnecessary sympathy for him because the highest price Mbeki paid was when we recalled him as president.”

The ANCYL’s position seemed to be contrary to that of the ruling party, which welcomed National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) suggestions for a commission of inquiry into the alleged political conspiracy.

On Wednesday, ANC Treasurer General Matthews Phosa called for the NPA to review all its former and current cases to ensure there had been no political meddling.

Malema said the ANC had made its decision to support such an inquiry but that the youth league would argue against that within the party’s structures.—Sapa