'Malema's claims are rubbish'

Malusi Gigaba has rubbished Julius Malema's claims that Govt. wants him dead.

Julius Malema at the 702 studios on 19 September 2012. Picture: Neo Ntsoma

CAPE TOWN - Expelled ANC Youth League Leader Julius Malema is talking rubbish according to Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Malema on Wednesday in an interview with John Robbie on Talk Radio 702 claimed that that cabinet ministers and the President wanted him dead.

He said he had received "credible" information from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) as well as three unrelated sources.

"They told us that there is an instruction that if [an] arrest is not possible due to a lack of sufficient evidence, they may consider taking our lives."

Gigaba has rubbished this claim.

"That's total hogwash! I don't even think anybody in their right mind - in fact I'm not surprised that no one in the presidency wanted to comment on this."

Gigaba also laughed off Malema's claim that he was still in charge of the ANCYL.

During the interview, Malema said he believed he still had a role to play within the ANC, despite being expelled from the party in June.

He also said he regretted his role in persuading members to elect Zuma as president.

"That time we made a very terrible mistake to commit our lives on an individual. It's a regrettable mistake that we shouldn't repeat."

But the former youth leader said he had not yet given up on the ANC.

"I learned one thing throughout this process: Never rely on an individual in a revolution, but instead rely on the collective and the wisdom of the organisation.

"Structures of the ANC still welcome me."

In the wide-ranging interview, Malema said he was expelled from the mother body because several leaders did not want him to be part of the crucial Mangaung meeting in December, where ANC delegates will elect new national leaders.

"I got booted out by those who felt threatened by my presence in the organisation… they thought my presence threatens their re-election in Mangaung.

"Once they get re-elected, or they're not re-elected, we'll still be welcomed back in the organisation."

Malema was referring to himself and his suspended former colleagues Sindiso Magaqa and Floyd Shivambu.

Malema said he had not been informed by the Hawks or Public Protector Thuli Madonsela about looming arrests related to tax evasion and tender fraud allegations.

He said he heard about the arrests from media reports.

Malema has hogged headlines in recent weeks, for his addresses to striking miners in the Gauteng and North West provinces as well as to members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

The firebrand politician was expelled for sowing divisions within the ruling party by criticising President Jacob Zuma in public and making remarks on a regime change in Botswana.