By Thandiwe Garusa
OUTSPOKEN South African opposition leader Julius Malema has backed the African National Congress (ANC)’s efforts to bring a lasting solution to Zimbabwe’s endless problems but questioned the governing party’s use of state resources to pursue the objective.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) president was addressing the media in Johannesburg’s Randburg Magistrates Court on Monday where he faces trial for a 2018 assault case.
“The Zimbabwean issue is a very urgent issue, it requires an urgent attention and therefore the leadership of the ruling party saw it befitting to go and interact with the Zimbabwean leaders to find a solution because we want an urgent solution in Zimbabwe and anything that can restore sanity in Zimbabwe, we will support it as the EFF,” Malema said.
The opposition leader said it was however improper for ANC to deploy state resources on a mission which was clearly a party initiative.
“To use the state resources as ANC, I think it was irresponsible and we shouldn’t be too dramatic about it, we will ask the secretary for defence to invoice the ANC, so the ANC pays and they don’t repeat that mistake.
“Going to Zimbabwe even under lockdown restrictions, it is necessary,” Malema said.
He added, “One to over politicise the issue of Zimbabwe instead of coming up with solutions, will be irresponsible.
“Therefore, I don’t see anything wrong with leaders of the ANC flying to Zimbabwe, but I have a problem with them using a government plane to fly to Zimbabwe.
“Since that mistake has been committed, let us bill them and let them pay and let’s continue to pursue the mission to find lasting solutions in Zimbabwe.”
Malema said, “the ANC should have hired a private jet if there are no commercial flights and pay it itself”.
“Since they flew a government plane, let them get an invoice and pay but the mission to resolve the problem of Zimbabwe should not stop.
“All of us, including the EFF, we shall put pressure to find solutions to the problem of Zimbabwe.”
The ANC recently took the bold step to intervene in Zimbabwe’s deepening crisis with a view to finding a lasting solution to a problem that has also been affecting South Africa.
This comes after the Zanu PF led administration has resisted attempts by the South African government to send envoys to meet Zimbabwean political parties, churches, civil society and other people centred groups in a bid to remedy the prolonged crisis.