South African President Zuma accused of being afraid of whites

Radical South African lawmaker Malema also says nation's president sold out the revolution

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 1:21am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 1:21am


Radical South African lawmaker Julius Malema delivered a blistering attack on President Jacob Zuma in his maiden address to parliament yesterday, accusing him of being "extremely scared of white people".

Dressed in red overalls and Wellington boots, Malema called on the president to seize white-owned land without compensation, nationalise the mines and banks and tear down statues of white colonisers.

"You lack courage and have sold out the revolution," the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) told a stony-faced Zuma in his response to the president's state of the nation address on Tuesday.

Malema has explained previously that he and his lawmakers wear the Wellington boots favoured by many workers to prove they represent the poor.

Malema formed the EFF last year after being thrown out as youth leader of Zuma's ruling African National Congress, and led his party to win 25 parliamentary seats in elections last month.

His direct verbal attack on Zuma, 72, and several of his cabinet colleagues, caused uproar and he was repeatedly called to order.

Malema heaped scorn on Zuma's promise to introduce "radical socio-economic change" to tackle unemployment and poverty, saying the ANC of the late liberation icon Nelson Mandela was now part of an "elite pact" that "sucks up" to whites.

"You don't have what it takes to lead the struggle for economic liberation of the black majority," he said

Mandela led the ANC to victory in the country's first multiracial elections in 1994.

Now, Malema said, "the ANC is part of an elite pact that seeks to protect white monopoly capital and white minority privileges".

Addressing Zuma directly, he added: "You are extremely scared of white people, particularly white monopoly capital."

While South Africa has undoubtedly become a better place for the majority of its citizens in the 20 years of ANC rule, unemployment and poverty remain high.