South Africa

South Africa

Malema: Mama Winnie should have been president, not Zuma

Malema: Mama Winnie should have been president, not Zuma

Malema, addressing his supporters outside struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's Soweto home on Tuesday said Zuma should never have been president of the country, rather Madikizela-Mandela should have been. The Economic Freedom Fighters leader was very close to Madikizela-Mandela and visited with the family to pay his respects. By BHEKI SIMELANE.

Julius Malema, addressing a crowd of about 400 EFF supporters after visiting with Madikizela-Mandela’s family said Jacob Zuma should never have been president.

She was supposed to be the president of the ANC. She wanted to stand against Zuma but white minority destroyed her. Zuma was brought by men who were scared of a woman. We would not have had an animal called Zuma. People who are scared of a female president destroyed her, that’s why Zuma came to power,” Malema said.

Malema said there was no time like the present to defend Madikizela-Mandela since we had failed to defend her while she was alive. He said Madikizela-Mandela was his pillar of strength, adding that he had received abundant support from her when he and other ANC Youth League leaders were expelled from the party.

When we were expelled from the ANC this is the first place we came to. Fighters this is your home. We must co-exist here because Mama Winnie was a unifier,” Malema said.

There is no denying that Madikizela-Mandela’s passing left the EFF leader distraught. Malema has always said that he sees Madikizela-Mandela as his own mother.

It was not the first time that Malema has raised the issue of Madikizela-Mandela’s presidency. Last year Malema said Madikizela-Mandela should have been the country’s first woman president.

Speaking on Tuesday, Malema described Madikizela-Mandela as a stone that was rejected by the builders.

Winnie Mandela‚ the president we did not have… who was denied to be president on the basis that she is a female and African. They feared her. Even today‚ they still fear her in death. That is why they continue to call her names… But the masses know the truth‚” he said.

Malema visited the family with other EFF leaders including Dali Mpofu, Floyd Shivambu and Godrich Gardee.

Asked for comment, Mpofu, who had a personal relationship with Madikizela-Mandela in the years preceding her then husband, Nelson Mandela’s release from jail, referred Daily Maverick to Malema.

Outside the home, hundreds of EFF members sang Umama akasekho, ubani ozosikhulula, which means mama is gone, who will free us now, interspersed with songs from the struggle.

After leaving active politics Madikizela-Mandela spent most of her time at her home in Orlando West, a short distance from the Mandela family home on Vilakazi Street. It is to here that dignitaries and political figures have been streaming since the announcement on Monday of Madikizela-Mandela’s passing.

Other notable visitors to the Madikizela-Mandela home on Tuesday included, Minister of Communications Nomvula Mokonyane, Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi and Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize.

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the family on Monday evening and indicated that the Madikizela-Mandela would have a state funeral on 14 April.

Madikizela-Mandela will, among other things, be remembered for her commitment to the struggle for the poor and her fearless and tireless fight for the release of her former husband and other political prisoners.

Malema said Madikizela-Madela never looked down on people.

We supported her throughout. Winnie Mandela is us, and we know who we are, and we can’t be told by the white-owned media. Black people are Winnie.”

Malema said his party does not require permission from the ANC to be at Madikizela-Mandela’s home.

We know the people who hate Winnie, they must not come here. We will tell them distance yourself from Winnie Mandela. We were very young when she was convicted, but we were there,” Malema said, adding that they “learned the ABC of politics in this house”.

Malema said Madikizela-Mandela must have the most beautiful funeral befitting her as a Mother of the Nation. He said the EFF will continue to fight, and won’t betray Madikizela-Mandela.

We have lost a fearless fighter‚ a giant and a Mother of the Nation, a title bestowed on her by the people of South Africa. They declared her a Mother of the Nation – a position you don’t get elected to. You earn the title through the struggles you wage with your people.

We are here to say the spear has fallen, we are here to pick up the spear and fight on,” Malema said. DM

Photo: Julius Malema, leader of the opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), speaks to supporters outside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto as mourners gather, Johannesburg, South Africa 03 April 2018. EPA-EFE/STR


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options