Malema stands with Zimbos in SA says ‘I’m ready to lose votes for that’
South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said he would continue to stand with Zimbabweans in his country even if it meant losing votes and leadership of the party.
In an address he made on Tuesday Malema said he and his party were prepared to stand with all Africans in South Africa who left their countries due to economic hardship.
He said he was determined to do this even if it means he would lose support from some South Africans who really think that foreigners are sabotaging their economy.
Someone said to me, if you want us to vote for you in 2024, you must abandon this thing of foreigners. Ahh I’m prepared to go home. I will never take a platform and denounce Africans. I will never do it. If it means votes are going to let them go.
“But to take a platform and please white minority by pointing a finger at my other fellow black brothers, I’m not going to do that. When I see a Nigerian or a Zimbabwean or a Congolese or Ghanaian, I see myself,” he said.
Malema’s sentiments come at a time when thousands of holders of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) are living in uncertainty because the South African government has not yet indicated whether it will renew their permits which are set to expire on 31 December 2021.
Some South African banks have already warned Zimbabweans to renew their permits or face closure of their accounts in December.
These permits were first issued in 2010 under the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project (ZDP) and the programme was renewed in 2014 as the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP), before the ZEP was introduced in 2017.
But Malema boldly said he would not allow any policy that sends Zimbabweans and other foreigners in South Africa back home.
“EFF can commission internal research to see to what extent this thing is hurting the EFF. But I’m not prepared to take a platform and say foreigners must go home. I would rather not be the president of South Africa.
“I will be the president of my children. To say I must go and tell these hungry Zimbabweans to leave here and when I tell them to leave I send them to where?” Malema said.
Meanwhile, some South Africans want Zimbabweans to go back home and fight to improve their economy at home. But Zimbabweans are also fighting to remain in South Africa. Nehanda Radio