Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela on Friday defended his grandfather, former president Nelson Mandela’s legacy, saying EFF leader Julius Malema had made “trash can politics his personal brand”.
This comes a day after the EFF leader criticised the late former president, saying that he had turned his back on parts of the revolution after being released from prison.
Malema was addressing the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom on Wednesday and was responding to a question on whether Mandela betrayed the people of South Africa in exchange for political power.
“The deviation from the Freedom Charter was the beginning of the selling out of the revolution. But why did Nelson Mandela sell out the Freedom Charter? When Mandela returned from prison he got separated with Winnie Mandela and went to stay in a house of the rich white men… he was looked after by the Oppenheimers,” Malema was quoted as saying.
In a statement issued by the Royal House of Mandela, the MP said Malema did not understand his grandfather’s legacy of nation building, reconciliation and social cohesion.
“Yes, all is not well in our democracy, and this is rightly course for reflection, remedial action and continued struggle.
“But this does not excuse Julius Malema for making spurious and unsubstantiated claims regarding Madiba’s relationship with big business while he, himself, is the beneficiary of patronage.”
Mandela said Madiba went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the flight of capital was halted.
“Unlike Julius Malema’s soundbyte-bigotry, this struggle is real…”
‘Malema’s drivel is just that, drivel’
Mandela said: “It appears… that Julius Malema has capitulated to the kind of thinking that characterised Eugene Terre’Blanche’s mission to undermine our nascent democracy at any cost.
“Julius Malema’s rant about Madiba selling out the Freedom Charter is ridiculous in the light of he and his cronies in the EFF having shown disdain for everything that the Freedom Charter stands for – including trashing Parliament, which is the highest expression of the Freedom Charter’s statement that the people shall govern.”
Mandela said Malema was bereft of culture, knowledge and wisdom and continued to make Parliament ungovernable.
“Julius Malema has no regard for traditional African values such as respect for elders, mutual respect, as encapsulated in the spirit of Ubuntu, or our long tradition of principled struggles for which many generations have sacrificed life and limb.
“Madiba’s legacy is unassailable and Julius Malema’s drivel is just that, drivel.”
Mandela said there were no limits to Malema’s “naughty behaviour”.
“This time it was Madiba’s legacy that he attacked. He didn’t realise that he was hacking the very branch on which he was sitting. He has failed woodwork again,” said Mandela. News24