South African politician Julius Malema says the opposition “will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun” if the ruling African National Congress (ANC) continues to respond violently to peaceful protests. Malema is the commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters, an opposition party he founded in 2013 after being expelled from the ANC, where he had served as president of the Youth League.
The exchange, in Sunday’s episode of Talk To Al Jazeera, began when Jonah Hull asked Malema how far he was willing to go in his “war” against President Jacob Zuma and reminded him of his 2014 threat to make the entire Gauteng province ungovernable.
“We have the capability to mobilise our people and fight physically,” said Malema. “That’s not befitting of a government in waiting, is it?” Hull asked. “We know for a fact that Gauteng ANC rigged elections here,” replied Malema. “We know for a fact that they lost Johannesburg and they lost Gauteng. But we still accepted it. But they must know that we are not going to do that this year. We are not going to accept.
“Part of the revolutionary duty is to fight and we are not ashamed if the need arises for us to take up arms and fight. We will fight. This regime must respond peacefully to our demands and must respond constitutionally to our demands.
“And if they are going to respond violently – like they did in the township of Alexandra, just outside Johannesburg, when people said these results do not reflect the outcome of our votes, they sent the army to go and intimidate our people. We are not going to stand back. Zuma is not going to use the army to intimidate us. We are not scared of the army. We are not scared to fight. We will fight.” Hull asked Malema to clarify this: “When you say you are willing to take up arms, that’s what you mean?” “Literally,” Malema said.