African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema can always be “taken by the ear” and brought into line, South African president Kgalema Motlanthe has said. According to reports, president Motlanthe who was addressing a public meeting in Johannesburg as part of the ANC’s 2009 election campaign, said the youth leader who is known for his undiplomatic language, needed guidance.
“The youth must always bring a radical perspective and energy and oomph […] but of course the role of the mother body [ANC] is to nurture, guide, train and develop this youth […] When we have a youth that is energetic but erroneous […] at the same time you cannot shirk your responsibility of correcting them and bringing them into line,” the president said when asked a question about the controversial utterances made by Malema.
“The role of the ANC is to take the youth by the ear and turn them around. We must always bring Julius into line, all the time. Each time he says anything wrong we must pull him by the ear and bring him into line […] The ANC never gives up on anyone,” Motlanthe said.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has since told South African media that she stood by her remark made on Sunday that Julius Malema is an “inkwenkwe” – an uncircumcised boy. She said Malema was “a little boy who is wet behind the ears”.
Malema has since rebuffed a challenge to a debate with the youth wing of the DA, saying they were “the garden boys of Zille,” the female DA leader, whom he described as “racist, colonialist and imperialist”. Malema has in the past blasted a number of opposition leaders and has not spared leaders in his own party.
Education minister Naledi Pandor was told “She must use her fake accent to address our problems,” by Malema who was addressing a crowd who later became violent, throwing stones at police officers.
In 2003, as head of Cosas, Malema said in a statement that the student union would do anything, including “burning the prison she is locked in”, to prevent the jailing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
In June 2008 Malema made international headlines by apparently vowing that the Youth League would take up arms if the prosecution of jacob Zuma for alleged fraud and corruption continued. In an address to a Youth Day rally in Thaba Nchu, where Zuma was in attendance, Malema said: “Let us make it clear now: we are prepared to die for Zuma. Not only that, we are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma”
In January 2009, he suggested to a group of Cape Town students that the woman who accused ANC president Jacob Zuma of rape had a “nice time” with him.
IFP Youth Brigade spokesman, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, was recently quoted as saying the ANC Youth League President was in nappies during the worst clashes between the ANC and IFP, hence his irresponsible statements about IFP leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi. He also said Malema’s lack of education contributes to him making irresponsible statements.