Shenge dares youth leader

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The inflammatory rhetoric between ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and the IFP is hotting up.

IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi yesterday dared Malema to come to his backyard " to recruit my wife and children" to join the ANC.

Buthelezi referred to Malema as an "ill-bred brat whose behaviour is not only unAfrican, but crude by the standards of any culture in the world".

He said it was worrying that the ANC was using Malema to denigrate those they had targeted.

"The proof of this is that he insulted the [then] president of South Africa and then leader of the ANC, Mr [Thabo] Mbeki, in the presence of Mr [Jacob] Zuma and the top leadership of the ANC. They did not even give him a slap on the wrist for such unacceptable behaviour. It was Malema who announced to the whole of South Africa that Mbeki must go.

"Luthuli House then implemented Malema's decision to remove Mbeki," he said.

It was evident that Malema was the ANC's spoilt brat "who thinks he can take me on because he did what he did to to Mbeki".

Turning to the issue of Zimbabwe, Buthelezi said that country would not be in the state it was if the ANC had not encouraged President Robert Mugabe to behave as he had done up to now.

"Nelson Mandela smelt a rat long ago and expressed his condemnation of what was going on in Zimbabwe.

"I concede that since that election, the president of the ANC Jacob Zuma has condemned what is going on. It is therefore just a bit surprising for Malema to compare me with the president of Zimbabwe and to call me a dictator," said Buthelezi.

"I would like him to unpack that and state in what way I qualify to be a dictator in his book."

It was not for Malema to tell him to retire as he was elected by the conferences of the IFP, not those of the ANC Youth League.

"I would assume that being leader of the ANC youth wing he should know that I announced my retirement in 2004 and the conference, without one dissent, urged me to continue," he said.

"In 2005 I called a special conference in Durban and again expressed my intention to retire. Again the conference delegates, without a single dissenter, urged me to continue to lead. I agreed on condition that my health allowed me to do so. I am the servant of my party, not of the Malemas of this world."

Buthelezi then urged Malema to come to his home. "I urge him to come to my house, as he has told the world he would do, to recruit my wife and children, as he has said.

"I hope that he does not get cold feet like the ANC developed after threatening to march to Ulundi in 1994.

"I state that Malema must only tell us the date so that we can facilitate his visit to my house," Buthelezi said.