Arrest me, Malema dares Zuma

Julius Malema arrives at the EFF's manifesto launch in Orlando Stadium, Soweto. (Troy Enekvist, M&G)

Julius Malema arrives at the EFF's manifesto launch in Orlando Stadium, Soweto. (Troy Enekvist, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has dared the ANC government to “come and arrest me” after Police Minister Nathi Nhleko confirmed police were investigating treason charges against him. On Monday, the ANC opened a criminal case against Malema after he told Al Jazeera TV that if provoked, the EFF would remove the ANC government from office through the barrel of the gun. 

Addressing a packed 45 000 seater Orlando stadium in Soweto during the party’s manifesto launch on Saturday, Malema warned President Jacob Zuma’s administration that the EFF would soon run out of patience if the government continued to use violence to resolve political problems.

You say we promote violence (but) we are the most peaceful organisation. We fight intellectually in court and in Parliament.
When we fight intellectually, they (ANC government) beat us. No one has opened a case against them. We (EFF) will never start any violence. Anyone who comes with violence, we will defend ourselves. We are not scared of war,” said Malema. He singled out Intelligence Minister David Mahlobo, who together with his counterparts within the security cluster condemned Malema’s war talk. 

“We are not scared of you (Mahlobo). You will not defeat us. Anyone who wants to arrest us, we are here. I only speak truth to power. Why open a treason case against people who speak truth to power. The ANC is run by clowns. Tell Zuma too that we are not scared of him. Tell Zuma we will get rid of him before the 2019 elections,” said Malema. He said if Zuma continued to stay in office, the army would turn against him. 

“Zuma be warned, the army will turn against you. They (soldiers) don’t like corruption,” said Malema, claiming that the army and police were members of the EFF. 

Malema warned the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) not to repeat the same mistake such as the one in Tlokwe where the constitutional court found the by-elections there, which were won by the ANC, were not free and fair. 

“We want the peaceful elections. You (the IEC) must be independent. You (allowed the ANC) to steal our votes in Alexandra (during the 2014 general elections), but we kept quite. They (the ANC) stole votes in Gauteng. The IEC is the third party that is contesting the EFF. They did it in Hlokwe and Alexandra. You will not defeat the power of the black nation,” said Malema. 

He said the EFF was more than ready to take on the ANC on the ground.  “We are saying to the ANC, bring it on. We are not scared of you. This party is for the black nation and blacks must be proud (to be part of the EFF). This party is not advised by whites. This is a socialist programme. No one will stop this, not even the IEC,” said Malema to loud cheers.

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo is the political editor of the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003 and has won numerous awards since then, including the regional award for Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the economics and finance category in 2015, SA Journalist of the Year in 2011, the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the Year award in 2008 and CNN African Journalist of the Year – MKO Abiola Print Journalism in 2004. Read more from Matuma Letsoalo

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