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Unemployment and poverty are no excuse for rape: Julius Malema

Mawande AmaShabalala Political journalist
EFF leader Julius Malema says there is no excuse for committing rape. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema says there is no excuse for committing rape. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/Sunday Times

There is no excuse to justify raping women, including the frustrations of unemployment. In fact, how can one commit such a deed when one should be using that energy to look for work?

That was the view of EFF leader Julius Malema, addressing the people of Phokwane in the Northern Cape where he was on the local government campaign trail on Wednesday.

Malema said many people were making the excuse that they were committing crime because of desperation that comes with joblessness and poverty — which was understandable. But rape was worse than just a crime; it was in fact an act of treason that should never be tolerated.

“Once you defeat poverty, then crime will be defeated. But we are talking about crime, rape is not a [regular] crime, no-one should ever be entertained for making an excuse that they raped because of poverty,” said Malema.

“Rape is tantamount to committing genocide. Once you rape, we have nothing to listen to, we have no room for rapists.

“How do you get it up when you are jobless? You better use that energy to look for employment instead of raping women. Rape is treasonous, it is not something we are ready to listen to your reason,” he went on.

“Once you rape, you must know you have killed that person inside. The body might be there but that is an empty walking shell because you have destroyed it.”

Malema also condemned “black on black” violence, saying black people were already under siege all over the world as a result for their skin colour.

To this end, he launched a scathing attack on the police for shooting at unarmed protesting students demanding free tertiary education.

Such police, he charged, had small minds because the same students they shot at were  fighting for them too.

“Why would you shoot at students whose only crime is demanding tertiary education? Why would a normal policeman take his big gun with a rubber bullet and point it at the youth, who are saying, 'we do not want to smoke drugs, we want to go to school'?

“These students are helping the same foolish cops who are paid peanuts. When free higher education is achieved, their children will benefit too, but they are shooting at protesting students. It must be the police uniform that makes them brain-dead because how is it logical that a financially struggling cop is the same one shooting at students who are trying to help them?”

Malema said the trigger-happy police were the same people whose ID cards are held at loan sharks because of debt and, as such, they cannot afford to pay for their children at universities. 


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