/ 23 March 2010

PAC reacts angrily to Malema comments

Pac Reacts Angrily To Malema Comments

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) on Tuesday condemned African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema for accusing it of “hijacking” the Sharpeville protest.

“The PAC history has been written in blood and no amount of cheap rhetoric shall erase it,” PAC spokesperson Lehlohonolo Shale said in a statement.

Malema on Monday reportedly said the Sharpeville uprising of 1960 — during which police shot and killed 69 people protesting about pass laws — was organised by the ANC but “hijacked” by the PAC.

The ANC refused to be drawn into the fray on Tuesday.

“We are not commenting on what the ANC Youth League president said on this particular matter,” party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

Malema’s comments also outraged the PAC’s youth, Payco, which described him as a “Mickey Mouse pop star” who “knows nothing” about the liberation struggle.

“We will never allow this political buffoon to rape the proud, rich liberation struggle credentials of PAC … A high school drop-out like Malema who cannot even pass woodwork cannot be expected to grapple with … subjects like history.

Payco called the comments “foolish lies” and wanted a public apology from Malema.

“The fact of history is that PAC organised and led the Positive Action Campaign and the ANC rejected an invitation from PAC founding President Mangaliso Sobukwe.

“Through its then-secretary-general, Duma Nokwe, the ANC refused to participate in the march saying, ‘ANC is not going to participate in this protest because it lacks proper planning and it has no prospects of success’,” it said.

‘We must never undermine nation-building in this country’
ANCYL spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy, however, said Malema’s comments should be viewed within the wider context in which the Sharpeville protests took place.

“What he [Malema] was speaking about was the mobilisation prior to Sharpeville, which was managed by the ANC,” she said, adding that the “truth had to be told” irrespective of how “uncomfortable” it was for some quarters.

“The defiance campaign, which is the broader context, was initiated by the ANC in 1952.”

It was important, Moonsamy said, for the youth league to ensure that the country’s history be correctly reflected.

“We agree that we must never undermine nation-building in this country, but we must do it truthfully.”

Meanwhile, AfriForum Youth called on its members on Tuesday to pray for Malema after one of his fans made online threats to rape and burn white people.

“We have received literally hundreds of emails in the last day from people … many of them are really scared, saying they are afraid they are going to be attacked,” AfriForum Youth chairperson Ernst Roets told the South African Press Association by phone.

In reaction, AfriForum Youth launched a “ten-point plan against Malema” following widespread media coverage on the Facebook fan page for Malema.

A Malema supporter, named Thato Mbateti Mbateti, refers to whites as “fucking white pigs” and threatens to rape “white whores”.

“We will rape them and rape them until their last breath is out. White kids will be burned … men will be burned,” states the online post.

Roets said he feared a backlash from the Afrikaner community and was hoping to encourage the public to react to the latest incident in a more proactive manner.

“I think they should definitely pray for Mr Malema. We don’t want to exclude anyone when it comes to things like prayer,” said Roets.

“The worst thing that can happen now is if someone acts in an irresponsible manner,” he added.

Praying for the future of the country is one of the 10 points AfriForum Youth wants its members to adopt as part of its Stop Malema campaign.

The 10-point plan includes signing a Stop Malema petition at www.stopmalema.co.za, sending an SMS with the word “Stop” to 38655 to donate R10 to help cover legal costs against Malema, and joining the Stop Malema Facebook group.

AfriForum also asks people to denounce racist comments aimed at inciting violence.

“Maintain the moral high ground and do not stoop to an undemocratic level of debate … do not allow agitators such as Julius Malema and his supporter[s] to break you down psychologically or lead you to act irresponsibly,” said AfriForum Youth in the statement announcing details of the 10-point plan.

Its members should always “act within the framework of the law” and live “according to basic safety rules”. — Sapa