JZ ‘stole the second spot from Winnie’ – Malema
The EFF leader said she had wanted to stand as deputy president for Thabo Mbeki, but some 'ANC men blocked her because they feared her'.
Commander in Chief of the EFF Julius Malema speaks during a march outside the house of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Orlando West, Johannesburg, 3 April 2018. EFF members gathered outside the house to celebrate and pay tribute to Winnie Mandela. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia
Because some ANC members were threatened by a woman, former president Jacob Zuma robbed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela of her chance to become the party’s deputy president and the country’s future president at the party’s national conference in 1997 in Mafikeng, EFF leader Julius Malema has charged.
Addressing EFF supporters outside the late Madikizela-Mandela’s Orlando West home in Soweto yesterday, he said she would have been ANC deputy president and subsequently the party and country’s president had Zuma not “cunningly outmanoeuvred her for the second spot”.
He said she had wanted to stand as deputy president for Thabo Mbeki, but some “ANC men blocked her because they feared her”.
“Winnie Mandela was supposed to be president of South Africa, but apartheid and the ANC were threatened by a woman.
“Winnie Mandela wanted to stand against Jacob Zuma in Mafikeng, but Zuma was backed by men who did not want her. If Zuma had not opposed her, she would have been the ANC deputy president.”
Malema said Madikizela-Mandela had endured character assassinations by some in the ANC and apartheid-era authorities.
“When you character-assassinate Winnie Mandela, you character-assassinate the people,” he said.
He added that certain ANC leaders had distanced themselves from her even after democracy was achieved.
“We will expose them. We will whisper into their ears that they betrayed Mama Winnie,” he said.
Malema’s visit coincided with those of former ANC national executive committee member Zweli Mkhize and former president Mbeki, who spent about two hours with the family.
Political analyst Sipho Seepe, who was also inside Madikizela-Mandela’s house, said Mbeki’s visit became an opportunity for he and the family to bury the hatchet over his tiff with her at the commemoration of the June 16 Soweto uprising in 2001.
Mbeki publicly chastised Madikizela-Mandela, who was late for the event, for being “disruptive” and “disrespectful”.
“Everybody was prepared to let bygones be bygones,” Seepe said.
Malema vowed the EFF would continue to visit the home until the burial because “she was our mother, she was the mother of the nation”.
He said the EFF would also attend Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral because they were on her side in difficult times and she had mentored him, adding: “We came from her. The spear has fallen, we are here to pick up the spear and fight the good fight.”