Malema speaks out on Marikana and Zuma
18 September 2012 | MIRANDA ANDREW
JOHANNESBURG - "Police threatened to isolate us and kill us," Malema told a media briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
"They pushed us out against our will... even though we were invited there to speak."
On Monday, the police stopped Malema at the gates of the stadium, where striking miners had gathered to be briefed on developments about their wage demands.
After a lengthy discussion with the police, Malema drove off, escorted by about 10 police vans.
A police helicopter circled overhead, and police on foot patrol ran to points of entry to the stadium, ready to stop him if he turned back.
Malema said his car was in a convoy of four at the stadium.
The first two cars entered, after which Malema's car was stopped and searched.
Malema left his car and tried to walk to the meeting, but was prevented from doing so.
He said he was chased out and police threatened to shoot him. He then left.
"What was even more disturbing was that the chopper followed me all the way to Pretoria.
"It was on top of my vehicle... That is taxpayers' money," he said.
He said that police and civilians should have been disarmed after the deaths of 34 miners last month, when police opened fire on them.
He also asked why 1000 soldiers had been deployed to Marikana when it was not necessary.
"We are not dangerous people. We are peace-loving people. We are not a threat to anyone... Sometimes we just engage... robustly.
"We are not a rebellious group... We will never lead violence. We will lead a political onslaught against political thugs."
Malema said he did not want to lead a violent coup, but that "we will do it through political means".
He also asked why no police officers had been arrested since the Marikana shooting.
Wearing an ANC T-shirt, Malema wanted to know what an "illegal gathering" was, and said rural villages and ANC branches often held meetings in open fields without permits.
He said that when President Jacob Zuma took office, he had militarised the police "like all dictators".
"Jacob Zuma is a liability to South Africa and the ANC.
"Like all dictators, he only concentrates on his village Nkandla."
Malema warned that Zuma was interested only in his family, and would plunge the country into a "deeper crisis".
"It's not about a person who sings beautifully and dances nicely," said Malema.
"Zuma is highly compromised... He has got no capacity... maybe in cultural activities..."
He said Zuma was a divisive leader who believed in conspiracies.
"He is also too old. He must rest. He is getting older by the day."
Malema said he had not been involved in any corrupt activities and had nothing to hide.
"I have nothing to hide... I only have my convictions. Nothing will stop me from fighting for economic freedom, not even my death... We are unshaken."
He said reports of his imminent arrest were not surprising.
He had it "on good authority" that there were instructions "to get rid of some us... The defence minister signed our death warrants".
Malema said Zuma should tender his resignation on December 23 in Mangaung, where the ANC elective conference is to take place.
"We cannot allow him in office 'til 2014. We cannot allow the [national executive committee] to extend trauma to 2014.
"If we lose in Mangaung, then I will apply to join the ANC as a new member."
He said that if this application was declined, he would take it to court to find out why he was being discriminated against.
Zuma told Parliament last week that action would be taken against those suspected of inciting violence.
"It is also some people of some description who are going there to instigate miners to operate in a particular way," Zuma said.
"It cannot be accepted. And therefore we are looking into that; we are going to be acting very soon."
Prior to this, Malema told striking miners at Gold Fields, near Carletonville, not go return to work until their demands were met.
He also called for a national strike once a week, every month.
Workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine downed tools last month, demanding a R12,500 wage increase.
Malema denied inciting violence at the mines, and accused Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe of being compromised.
Radebe had also said that incitement to violence would not be tolerated.
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