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Malema brushes off McKenzie attack

The EFF leader says McKenzie may vent all he likes, but the poor still trust him.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema holds a news conference in Johannesburg, 1 August 2013. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Thursday brushed aside a scathing open letter by Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie.

In the letter, McKenzie accused the politician of being a thief.

The Patriotic Alliance leader, who is an ex-convict, wrote to Malema on Wednesday calling him a false revolutionary and a danger to South Africa.

The letter delivered a number of insults against the EFF leader, including:

"You bankrupted the ANC Youth League. You bankrupted Limpopo. You bankrupted yourself. Now you want to bankrupt what's left of South Africa."

"You have never worked an honest day in your life to earn your own money. You don't know what that feels like. You don't know what it means."

"Nationalisation is not woodwork."

"You get two kinds of politicians in this country: the ones who come from prison and those who must still go to prison. You belong to the latter."

"For most of my younger years I was surrounded by conmen and thieves. But you are the biggest thief I ever met. You, truly, are the Con-mander in Thief."

McKenzie tore into Malema's claims of trying to inspire the poor by wearing clothes worth thousands of rands, arguing the poor have no reason to trust the firebrand politician.

But Malema says McKenzie is just angry and is free to vent, saying it's probably because the businessman has realised it's much harder to run a political party than a nightclub.

The EFF leader says the country's poor will decide for themselves whether he is making false promises when it comes to the 7 May elections.

"Looking at the history of those who started politics at an early age, they've all gone through what I've gone through," he says.

"I don't see myself as being different from them and that's why I don't get demoralised."

The former ANC Youth League leader, who was expelled from the ruling party in 2012, says he has no regrets.

Listen below to 567 CapeTalk/Talk Radio 702 presenter Redi Tlhabi's interview with McKenzie about his letter:

Meanwhile, Malema's party has entered a battle against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) over the banning of its election campaign television advert.

In the one-minute commercial, Malema tells viewers he understands the pain faced by poor South Africans. A series of written statements are then shown, including one which says, "Destroy e-tolls physically!"

The SABC says the threat to destroy e-tolls is an incitement of public violence.

But the party says it's perplexed by the SABC's decision, calling the move illogical.

The party lodged a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) over the ban.

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