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'Let's march to Zuma's office'

By Kingdom Mabuza | 2011-10-20 06:32:35.0

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is taking the fight to President Jacob Zuma by calling on people to join him in a march to the Union Buildings

Malema told residents of Thembelihle informal settlement yesterday they were still suffering from oppression under Zuma's government as they had no houses and their children were going to school hungry.

"We will march until we also get food. We are going to ask for food from the president," Malema said.

Malema was in the informal settlement to drum up support for the ANCYL's planned marches to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Johannesburg and the Union Buildings in Pretoria later this month.

"You have been toyi-toying here for a long time and nobody has been listening to you. Now we are taking your demands to the Union Buildings.

"As long as you are still in poverty we will fight the economic freedom struggle," Malema told the crowd.

Malema is facing an ANC disciplinary committee on charges of bringing the party into disrepute.

The charges are seen as a move by Zuma to rein in Malema, who is opposed to Zuma serving a second term as president. He is backing Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to replace Zuma.

In a speech at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha on Tuesday, Malema said he was being persecuted by the ANC for telling the truth. He said part of the problem was that no one represented the ANCYL among the top six leaders of the ruling party.

He said he should be treated like Nelson Mandela and other renowned party leaders, when they challenged the elites of their day.

Malema said it was the job of the youth to introduce radical ideas.

"I don't know if I will go to a disciplinary committee (DC) or not, but it is fact: these days you are taken to a DC for telling the truth. It is a fact."

Malema said when Mandela had left the country to undergo military training without an ANC mandate, he was not subjected to a disciplinary hearing.

Meanwhile, the president's office is complaining about unfair media coverage.

Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj called on the media yesterday to report "fairly and objectively" when covering the government and the Presidency.

This was triggered by articles yesterday after the Presidency announced that the Donen commission of inquiry report into the involvement of South Africans in Iraq's oil-for-food programme would be released in December.

The media and political analysts interpreted this as Zuma's strategy to deal with his perceived opponents ahead of the ANC elective conference in Mangaung next year.

The report is believed to be implicating Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Maharaj said Zuma took decisions based on the facts placed before him.