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Xenophobic South Africans can’t champion #BlackLivesMatter – Malema

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By Jonisayi Maromo


Pretoria – EFF leader Julius Malema on Monday criticised sections of the South African community championing the #BlackLivesMatter global movement while they maintained silence or supported the attacks when foreign nationals, particularly African immigrants, were brutalised on numerous occasions in South Africa.

“While you kill Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Nigerians and Somalians here in South Africa and you call them ‘makwerekwere’ and all sorts of names, today you are holding a placard saying #BlackLivesMatter? You supported the killing of your fellow black brothers and sisters, and you have some useless hashtag on social media saying #PutSouthAfricaFirst. That is narrow nationalism,” Malema told protesters outside the US embassy in Pretoria.

“The problem of black people is not a problem of South Africa. A black man is hated everywhere, be it in China, France and everywhere. Instead of saying South Africa first, we must be saying Africa first, black first.”

Malema said the problem of racism continues to grow across the world because many Africans suffer from “self-hate”.

“You don’t respect yourselves. If you loved this black face, when you are about to burn a Zimbabwean, you see the tears of a black fellow African crying for his or her life, then you should see yourself in that person and stop immediately. It is not a problem of Zimbabwe or of Nigeria, the problem is self-hate,” said the outspoken opposition leader.

“We are one family. Borders were imposed on us. You must not buy into the story of the existence of Botswana or of Lesotho because all these borders are an imagination. You are saying #BlackLivesMatter, yet you support the borders. You say you don’t like imperialism and colonialism but you support the borders. The border was created by colonisers.”

Malema, joined by EFF treasurer-general Omphile Maotwe and secretary-general Marshall Dlamini, led a crowd of protesters demanding justice for African-American George Floyd, who died at the hands of white police officers in the US state of Minnesota. The killing of Floyd has sparked protests in different parts of the world under the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Malema also denounced the crushing of dissent in African countries.

“Ramaphosa has no leg (to stand on) to pretend that he cares about black lives. Those American police saw Ramaphosa instructing the South African police to kill black people.

“They knew that if African authorities have no regard for black lives, why should we respect black lives? People are killed in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and in the Democratic Republic of Congo by their own governments when they protest, when they stand up to say ‘you can’t be a president forever’ they get killed for raising legitimate demands. You are teaching the world that there is no value for black lives. You cannot kill people for saying the truth,” said Malema.

This story was first published on https://www.iol.co.za/