'I want to remain an activist'

Nkhensani Ntsanwisi and Mathapelo Rammekwa

Nkhensani Ntsanwisi and Mathapelo Rammekwa

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema says people who accuse him of being disrespectful want him to be fearful of political leaders.

"I respect people but do not fear anyone," Malema said during a 702 interview yesterday.

He said he respected IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi but does not fear him.

Malema said he wanted to recruit Buthelezi's children and those of other opposition leaders "because we want to expose their weakness".

"If they fail to convince their own children why should they be trusted by the public?"

Malema said he participated in last week's round table debate with leaders of other youth organisations "because they were from small Mickey Mouse parties who want to use me to gain support".

Malema said he also had no ambitions of becoming either a member of parliament or a cabinet minister until he had turned 35.

"I do not want to go to parliament because I am a full-time activist for the ANC."

He said he first wanted to develop politically so that he could go to parliament after having become "a polished diamond that does not make mistakes".

Malema went on to say that the youth needed to be militant both inside o and outside of the ANC to ensure that the gains made during the struggle were not lost.

He said it was this militancy that kept the ANC leadership on its toes by pointing out that the challenges that ordinary people continue to face needed to be top of mind.

Malema said it was through the youth league's intervention that the people of the poor community of Newtown in Mpumalanga were now being provided with proper sanitation.

"I told the people of Newtown that I will bring the president of the ANC to them and I took him there.

"He saw the poor conditions that they lived in and now the municipality is building toilets for them."