Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Kamogelo Seekoei and Alex Matlala
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is unrepentant: he will not apologise for his "We will kill for Zuma" statement and has the full backing of the league.
Malema told a Youth Day rally in Thaba Nchu in the Free State on Monday that the league would "kill and die for Zuma".
Speaking to Sowetan yesterday Malema said: "I stand by what I said, that the youth league was prepared to die and take up arms and even kill for Zuma. What I actually meant is that the league will by no chance allow Zuma to be crucified and be tried on a case that is unwinnable.
"The dragging of the Zuma case is an indication that there is more to it than meets the eye. We therefore, as the youth league, say that we are prepared to die for Zuma and take up arms and kill anyone who tries to stop him taking up the country's biggest post [president]. We also say the only time Zuma will be tried will be in 2010. If anyone tries to put him behind bars, that person will first have to deal with us."
Yesterday Malema told Talk Radio 702 that he would not apologise. ANCYL spokesman Zizi Kodwa told Sowetan there was nothing for Malema to apologise for.
Kodwa said Malema's utterances were not literal.
"There is no way that Julius would tell people to go and kill," he said.
The ANCYL will hold a media briefing tomorrow to explain Malema's remarks.
"We are holding a media briefing on Thursday where he will do just that," Kodwa said yesterday.
Various youth and student bodies and political parties have criticised Malema's statement and called for an apology from the ANCYL leader.
ANC spokesman Jesse Duarte, pictured, neither condemned nor supported Malema.
In a press statement Duarte reiterated the party's position that the leadership of the ANC had the right to articulate policies and its own positions on public platforms.
"The ANC wishes to caution against any statements or actions that may inflame emotions or undermine the principled position the organisation has taken," it said.
ID leader Patricia de Lille has slammed Malema for his "dangerous and inflammatory statement".
"The Independent Democrats is considering lodging a complaint with the Human Rights Commission," De Lille said.
IFP Youth Brigade leader Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi also called on Malema to apologise.
Lebenya-Ntanzi said: "Mr Malema is a youth leader and many young people look up to him as a role model. It is in this light that we are completely shocked by his statements that the ANCYL are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma."