Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Wednesday that the democratic government protected all the symbols that reminded South Africans of apartheid, but failed to protect a symbol of hope like the Brandfort home of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
“The house is dilapidated, yet the statue of Paul Kruger decorates Church Square in Pretoria, receiving protection from the democratic government.
“They could not protect the house that housed their own, yet they protect everything else that reminds us of apartheid. They protect the murderers who killed the people who fought for our democracy,” said Malema
He said the government had also protected the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town.
“They will not dare defend that which gives us hope and courage,” he added.
Malema was speaking at a memorial service which the EFF hosted, but which various political parties used as a platform to show a united front.
It took place in a marquee at the Majwemasweu Stadium in Deeplevel, Brandfort, directly opposite the house in which Madikizela-Mandela lived when she was banished by the apartheid police in 1977.
Malema said his party would not apologise for hosting the memorial service in Brandfort.
“We make no apology [for the fact that], like the apartheid regime banished her with the hope of isolation, the past apartheid government has also banished and isolated her people, the people of Brandfort.”
He referred to her house, number 802, as a prison cell and added that there was no better evidence to the people of Brandfort that Madikizela-Mandela had been isolated.
“In this municipality, there is no TVET college for thousands of young people who want to further their education. Mama Norah Moahloli (one of Madikizela-Mandela’s Brandfort friends) spoke here about how Nomzamo did not want to see young people loitering in the street corners. She wanted them to go to school and wanted them to be better people.”
He said a tertiary institution had not been built in Brandfort, which was against Madikizela-Mandela’s wishes.
“Despite that there are mines. Unemployment in Brandfort is extremely high. The people of Brandfort live without basic infrastructure and services.
“Under those conditions, they still do not forget Mama Winnie Mandela and her movement.”
He said it was for that reason that the EFF had chosen to hold the memorial service in the community.
“Even when they ill-treat you, even when they take water from you, even when you are not working, you never forget Winnie Mandela and her own organisation. You continued to vote for them because you are following in the footsteps of Winnie Mandela.
“You think that because Winnie is from here, maybe one day something will happen.”
Malema asked the government to build a TVET college for the youth as well as a clinic that operated 24 hours.
“That is what Winnie wanted for the people of Brandfort.”
He said, when Madikizela-Mandela joined the community, she built the community a clinic.
“An individual, who was banned, who was not supposed to interact with anyone and was watched 24 hours [a day] by the killing machine. But she still provided a clinic. Today, you have got a government which is not threatened by anything, but it cannot give anything better than what Winnie Mandela gave the people of Brandfort.
“What a shame to the ANC government. An individual can provide a clinic, the government comes and provides a clinic worse than the clinic provided by an individual.
“Winnie Mandela is better than the government of the ANC combined,” he said to loud applause. ― News24