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30 Mar 2014 07:17
A file photograph of EFF leader Julius Malema. (Gallo)
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema criticised President Jacob Zuma at a rally in Montshioa near Mahikeng on Saturday, saying he should be arrested for "stealing from the poor".
Malema told the rally that Zuma was enjoying a luxurious life while poor people were living in poverty.
"Zuma must be arrested for stealing from the poor. Zuma must rot in jail ...
Zuma does belong among us," said Malema.
He said Zuma had stolen R1-million to build a chicken run at his homestead in Nkandla and used over R2-million to build a swimming pool.
"Zuma will be arrested soon ...
Public protector Thuli Madonsela said in her report released on March 19 that Zuma had unduly benefited from "exorbitant" upgrades to his Nkandla home and must pay back a reasonable portion of the costs to the state.
At the rally on Saturday, Malema said corrupt people would not be allowed to join the EFF.
"You are not going to wear a red beret if you are corrupt. You do not belong to the EFF if you are corrupt," Malema said to the applause.
He denied that he was as equally corrupt as Zuma.
"I was arrested for speaking the truth. I was charged for stealing from the state ... I was never employed by government."
'Bring back Mangope'
He told the crowd that during his week-long visit to the area residents had expressed a desire to bring back the Bophuthatswana administration of Lucas Mangope.
"People are saying they did not like Mangope for suppressing politics but at least he was able to provide basic service and employment."
Malema said infrastructure in the North West had collapsed since 1994.
"They [the ANC government] inherited solid infrastructure from Mangope. Mahikeng was once a city. Today it is a dumping centre. Streets are riddled with potholes as big as a swimming pool in Nkandla."
He said the ANC government was worse than the apartheid regime.
"They built you RDP houses that collapse after the handing over ceremony. The house literally follows them after the handover," he said to laughter from the crowd.
"They gave you taps, not water. They installed electric cable in your houses and not electricity. This is not a good story. It is a suffering story."
Malema defended the house the EFF built for a woman in Nkandla, near Zuma's home.
"That house was build out of good will of the people ... do not compare us to the government. The fact is that the dignity of that woman has been restored by the EFF."
He said repairs were being done to fix defects on the house, which was reported to be falling apart.
'Cannot postpone hunger'
Provincial chairperson Alfred Motsi said the EFF was ready to take over the North West with 65% of the vote.
"It is your responsibility to ensure that. How long are we going to postpone the suffering of our people. You cannot postpone hunger," Motsi said.
Hundreds of party members braved the scorching sun to hear Malema speak and gave him a hero's welcome when he arrived.
The EFF promised an accountable, people-driven government that was accessible to everyone.
The party also promised a state regulated minimum wage of R4 500 for all workers, with mineworkers being promised a minimum salary of R12 500.
Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union in the platinum mines in Rustenburg and Northam downed tools on January 23 and are demanding a salary of R12 500. - Sapa
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