Malema was invited to attend Magaqa’s funeral in KwaZulu-Natal today.
Malema had planned to attend the funeral and wrote a letter in which he slammed the actions of the ANC branch in the Umthimkhulu region for calling him and asking him to attend.
“Nothing is more insensitive and an utter betrayal of African tradition than this shallow sickening fame-seeking call. I do not know of anywhere in our traditions where people get invited to funerals.
“The ANCYL of KZN could not even wait for Magaqa’a warm body to reach his family, they already took the platform to defile this morning hour with their fame-seeking calls. It is even more concerning that the ANC has not called the ANCYL in KZN to order, reminding them that the family has to take a lead on such matters.”
He said although he would attend, it would be under heavy security guard as his own life was under threat and he was sure the same people who shot Magaqa 15 times would also be at the funeral.
However, Malema backtracked and took to Twitter to state he would not be attending the service.
“Although our paths separated, our bonds never broke. I’m sorry my friend I won’t make it, you deserve a dignified sendoff,” he said.
Although our paths separated, our bonds never broke. I'm sorry my friend I won't make it, you deserve a dignified send off. #MagaqaFuneral????????
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) September 16, 2017
Malema and Magaqa were fellow cadres in the ANCYL. While Malema was expelled from the party, Magaqa was suspended and reinstated. He became a councillor and was shot with three other councillors outside a general dealer store.
He survived the shooting and later died in hospital. The two men who were also shot are fighting for their lives in hospital.