- EFF leader Julius Malema will speak at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral on Saturday, despite reservations by some ANC leaders
- The fallen struggle icon’s family made a special request for Malema to speak during the funeral
- Some ANC leaders are reportedly afraid Malema will hijack the event and claim Madikizela-Mandela from the ANC
EFF leader Julius Malema will be allowed to speak at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral on Saturday, despite reservations by certain ANC leaders. The fallen struggle icon’s family made a special request for Malema to be given an opportunity to speak.
Some ANC leaders are reportedly nervous about the arrangement and fear Malema will use Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral as a platform to attack the ruling party and to claim her from the ANC. Malema and Madikizela-Mandela were known to have a special relationship.
Government spokesperson Phumla Williams confirmed Malema was scheduled to speak after a special request was received from Madikizela-Mandela’s family. EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, however, could not confirm that Malema would speak at the funeral.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the state was busy arranging the special official funeral in consultation with the ANC and Madikizela-Mandela’s family members.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the ANC could not and would not act against the wishes of the family, he said the ruling party was a democratic organisation which tolerated different views.
“Mama Winnie was the mother of the nation so it's important that the occasion of her own funeral displays for all to see that we, in the ANC, are a tolerant movement, we do not have issues with people because of the different political views that they might hold,” he said.
At the EFF’s memorial service in Brandfort on Wednesday, Malema launched a savage attack on the ANC and singled out Gwede Mantashe over comments he made at an earlier event. Mantashe said there would be chaos at Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral.
“That was Winnie’s character, it was chaos,” Mantashe said.
Malema hit back at Mantashe and called him an ant. He was also critical of President Cyril Ramaphosa for dancing during a memorial service in Limpopo.
The ANC has admitted that they cannot deny the special bond which existed between Madikizela-Mandela and Malema. An anonymous ANC NEC member said: “Mama loved Julius. As the ANC, we can't say no because he is coming from another party.”
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