ZANU PF sends support to Malema in South Africa

Below is an article from our Affirmative Action Media Monitoring Project. These articles represent a wide variety of views. These views do not necessarily represent the views of AAPF but instead are intended to provide you with an overview of the current affirmative action debate. April 28, 2011

By Tererai Karimakwenda

Zimbabwe’s Affirmative Action Group (AAG) announced this week that they were sending a delegation to South Africa to support Julius Malema, the highly controversial Youth League leader of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. Malema is facing hate language charges due to his insistence on singing a racially charged ANC song from the liberation struggle.

The AAG said the trip was in solidarity with Malema as “an honorary member” who supports empowerment issues. But some observers have said it appears to be a ZANU PF strategy to appease the ANC, after a recent row with President Jacob Zuma over the recent SADC troika summit in Lusaka.

The AAG delegation is due to leave on Friday, represented by the group’s President Supa Mandiwanzira and Secretary General Tafadzwa Musarara. Mandiwanzira is a devout ZANU PF supporter who is also heading up a new weekly newspaper called The Patriot.

“We know who Supa is and who he represents,” said former student leader and activist Mfundo Mlilo, adding that the gesture appears to be a ZANU PF attempt to reach out to the ANC.

Mlilo explained that the position of South Africa on Zimbabwe is changing because the country has a huge economy and therefore a “big brother” responsibility in the region.

The activist believes the AAG trip is also a sign that ZANU PF does respond to pressure, despite the non-caring image they like to portray. “And this pressure needs to continue,” he added.

Reports said the AAG will also be taking a written letter of support to Malema. The letter reads in part; “On behalf of the Affirmative Action Group, the vanguard of broad-based black economic empowerment in Zimbabwe, I would like to categorically state that, as our honorary member, the group is fully behind you during and after your court trial proceedings. Our entire membership is disturbed and extremely infuriated by the goings- on at the Equality Court.”

Malema was taken to the Equality Court by the human rights group Afriforum, who want him to stop singing the lyrics “Dubuli’bhunu”, which mean “Kill the Boer”. The group says these are hate lyrics that are partly responsible for the ongoing murders of white farmers in the country.

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