Johannesburg — The problems in Zimbabwe are not caused by its long-serving President Robert Mugabe, but by “capital”, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said yesterday.
“President Mugabe is the only leader who knows for the real change to come, Africans will have to go through the necessary pain, exactly what Zimbabweans are going through now,” he told reporters in Johannesburg when asked about his relationship with Mugabe.
“We don’t see what’s happening in Zimbabwe as anarchy. We don’t blame it on President Mugabe, we blame it on capital . . . (It is) because they disagree with him politically, they use their economic muscle to punish the people of Zimbabwe.”
Malema said Mugabe was the only African leader who continued to stand up against the West and who understood what it meant to be a real African.
He said the EFF might not agree with Mugabe on some issues, but from a broader perspective, the Zimbabwean leader represented the kind of Africa people wanted.
“How do you say a man who has won elections is a tyrant? He has never presided over any massacre of our people; he continues to lead a party that advocates for very radical economic policies in Zimbabwe.”
Malema lambasted those who felt Mugabe had overstayed his tenure as President and that Presidents should only stand for two terms.
It was fine for the rest of Africa to have Presidents serve more than two terms, but not in South Africa, he said.
“I don’t care if a President in Africa goes for a third term or for the fourth term, but not in South Africa.
“They can do it everywhere else if they want to do it . . . It won’t work here in South Africa. Here it is two terms and go home.”
Malema said he believed Africa should be governed by one leader, a leader like Mugabe.
“We want an Africa where trade will happen freely. We want an Africa that will one day have one currency and have one president and one government which will preside over this continent.
“We are one. These borders were imposed on us by colonialism.”