Malema slams 'puppet' Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai's MDC was not spared the EFF's wrath at the young party's media briefing on Thursday.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema holds a news conference in Johannesburg on Thursday, 1 August 2013 on the outcomes of their recent national assembly. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Julius Malema has labelled the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai a "puppet of imperialism".

The firebrand politician made the comments at a media briefing in Braamfontein on Thursday, a day after the Zimbabwean Prime Minister went head-to-head with President Robert Mugabe in national elections.

Malema, leader of the newly-formed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), proudly supports the 89-year-old Mugabe and his political ideologies, specifically in terms of land redistribution.

He says his new party will never support the ideologies and policies put forward by the MDC in Zimbabwe.

"The MDC says they need a market-related economy, meaning he wants to take the land from the people and give it back to the private owners."

Malema urged people not to confuse party policies with political personalities and has thrown the EFF'S weight behind Zanu-PF's land policies.

"Zanu-PF supports the ownership of land by the people and the ownership of the economy by the indigenous people, that's what we believe in."

At the briefing, aimed at updating the media after the EFF national assembly over the weekend, Malema also lashed out at the ANC, saying it has failed in its mandate to redistribute land in South Africa.

He says the EFF supports ownership of the land by its people, claiming only eight percent of land has been transferred to its rightful owners over the past 10 to 20 years.

At that pace, he says, "To transfer 100 percent of land will take us 300 years."

However, he brushed aside claims that the EFF's land policies would turn South Africa into another Zimbabwe.

He says his party's policies intend to redistribute land for public purposes.

"We're not going to beat up white people on the farms, we're going to engage in a programme which will make them understand they must surrender the land."

Malema described the ANC as a shell of its former self saying the party has failed its people.


Meanwhile, amid reports that Zimbabwean riot police have been deployed outside the MDC's offices in Harare, members of Mugabe's Zanu-PF have claimed he has won the election by a landslide, despite results not being due out until 5 August.

Releasing unofficial results early in Zimbabwe is illegal and police have said they will arrest anybody who makes premature claims.

But a senior source in Mugabe's party, who asked not to be named, said the result was already clear.

"We've taken this election. We've buried the MDC. We never had any doubt that we were going to win," the source told Reuters by phone.

Tsvangirai struck back at a press conference, calling the poll a fraud.

He labelled the election in Zimbabwe "a major farce" that has once again short-changed the people of his nation