We'll kill too - Vavi
June 22, 2008 Edition 1 [Cape Argus]
CHRIS MAKHAYE and Sapa
As ANC Youth League president Julius Malema yesterday vowed at a rally in Durban that he would not apologise for his controversial remarks last week, Cosatu president Zwelinzima Vavi took the platform at a funeral in Johannesburg to tell the crowd that he too would be prepared to lay down his life and to kill for Jacob Zuma.
"So yes, because ANC president Jacob Zuma is one of us, and he is one of our leaders, for him, we are prepared to lay our lives (sic) and to shoot and kill," he said to applause and cheering in a speech to a large crowd.
He was speaking at the funeral of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union's vice president and ANC veteran Pretty Shuping.
"And in defence of one another, because we love one another so dearly and so truly, we are prepared to kill and to lay our own lives (sic) for one another," he added.
Also backing Malema, and speaking at the Young Communist League rally at Durban's Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, where Mamela was a guest, youth league secretary general Buti Manamela told the crowd that if Zuma did not become president next year "there will be hell to pay".
During a Youth Day rally in the Free State on Monday Malema vowed that the youth of South Africa would die supporting Zuma and they would be prepared to kill for him.
Yesterday Malema reiterated that the ANC youth league was prepared to pay the highest price if Jacob Zuma did not become the president.
Malema said those who were saying he must apologise for saying that youth must take up arms and kill for the ANC president were not engaged in genuine dialogue but were pushing their political agendas.
"We were told that you are irrelevant today if you speak a revolutionary language. Our victory is victory forever. They want us to speak the language of the soapies ... Our lives are not like that," said Malema.
"Those who are saying we must apologise for the statement that we made on the Youth Day celebration statement are not honest. The words that we used may be sensitive to some people but we will not apologise. We remain unshaken and we will not retreat.
"We did not say anything wrong. We might have used strong words," he told hundreds of people, some as young as 11.
"We are saying again that we are prepared to pay the highest price for Msholozi … and when the time comes we will do so. We call upon the youth to do the same," said Malema to wild applause from thousands who attended the rally.
He said those who are blaming the youth league should blame its predecessors.
"Everything we say, they said it before. If you blame somebody, you must blame a generation before us because we are just continuing a legacy," said Malema.
He said the Human Rights Commission - which has given him 14 days to retract his statement - had been quiet when people's rights were violated by the state "We never saw the Human Rights Commission... writing a letter to state institutions for violating people's rights. They never wrote to the Scorpions for violating the rights of JZ for seven years," he said.
He said to those in the government who do not want to serve under a Jacob Zuma presidency that the ANC doors were open and they "must leave now".
"They must leave now if they can't accept Zuma ... The ANC is not short of leadership. If you leave we have others to replace you. The ANC has always had and will always have the best and capable cadre willing to serve. To you, Prime Minister Essop Pahad, if you go there will be comrades like Blade Nzimande to take your place," he said.
Malema said there was no alternative to Jacob Zuma.
"He will lead our election campaign and come 2009 he will become the president of South Africa. I have a secret message for you: prepare yourself for Zuma rule - for the villager from Nkandla. We are becoming impatient. We want to build a great future for us ... South African youth need quality jobs. We do not want to be cashiers and petrol attendants and only the Zuma government can provide this."
Malema also lashed out at Helen Zille, Patricia De Lille, Bantu Holomisa and the Inkatha Freedom Party, saying they were jumping on the bandwagon of Zuma bashers.
Zuma was supposed to attend the rally, but he didn't show up.