South Africa's Julius Malema in his own words

image source, AFP

Firebrand South African youth leader Julius Malema, 31, has turned into one of President Jacob Zuma's fiercest critics, after earlier helping his rise to power.

Mr Malema, who strongly denies allegations of corruption, accuses his erstwhile ally of failing to relieve poverty.

The former ANC Youth League leader is a hugely divisive figure in South Africa after making numerous controversial statements during his short career:

On his expulsion from the ANC

"We must accept that this is the decision, but that is not the end of the road," in February 2012 when the ANC's disciplinary committee rejected his appeal against the length of his five-year suspension - and changed it to an expulsion.

"I'm not a soldier who is prepared to fall in the battle, I will die with my boots on, I will die for what I believe in.

"I did not steal from anybody... I did not kill anybody."

On South Africa's presidents

"It is under President Zuma that we have seen the youth of the ANC being traumatised, being expelled from their own home. It is under President Zuma we have seen a critical voice being suppressed. We have seen under President Zuma democracy being replaced with dictatorship," in March 2012 after falling out with his former ally and being expelled from the ANC.

"We are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma," in June 2008 during Mr Zuma's hard-fought campaign to wrest control of the ANC from then President Thabo Mbeki.

"We are leaving this dead snake, but we must bury it, it is dead now," in September 2008 shortly before Mr Mbeki was ousted as president.

"Racism is the legacy of De Klerk. Unemployment is the legacy of De Klerk. Shortage of houses is the legacy of De Klerk. De Klerk must never be compared with Mandela," in January 2011 urging people not to credit South Africa's last white ruler, FW de Klerk, for releasing Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

On opposition politicians

"She, the racist little girl, must remember that Zuma is her boss," in May 2009 after Democratic Alliance (DA) party leader Helen Zille, a white woman, was elected premier of Western Cape province.

"I only debate with serious political youth formations. Not a group of the racist Helen Zille's garden boys," in February 2009 refusing to have a debate with DA youth leader Khume Ramulifho.

"She's a nobody, she's a tea girl of the madam. I'm not debating with the service of the madam," in May 2011 rejecting a challenge to have a debate with Lindiwe Mazibuko, a black woman who is now the DA's parliamentary leader.

On foreign policy

"We want to ask a simple question - are you not tired of seeing blood every year? You blood-thirsty imperialists... They can't think. They don't know politics," denouncing Nato's military campaign in Libya in July 2011.

"Botswana is in full co-operation with imperialists," in July 2011, calling for a change of government in Gaborone because of its close ties with the US - the stance which saw him suspended from the party.

On economic policy

"At the moment, when the imperialist forces are accepting the failures of capitalism, we should ask whether the time has not arrived for the government to make sure that the state owns the mines and other means of production," in July 2009, calling for nationalisation of South Africa's huge mining industry to end white domination of the economy.

"Mandela and his generation said: 'Freedom in our lifetime', and we want to declare today: 'Economic freedom in our lifetime'," in February 2010, arguing that nationalisation had been a policy of the ANC during the struggle for democratic rule.

On sex and rape

"When a woman didn't enjoy it [sex], she leaves early in the morning. Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money," in January 2009 after Mr Zuma was acquitted in 2008 of raping a family friend.

On education

"Let the minister use that fake accent to address our problems and not behave like a spoilt minister," in February 2009 calling on the Mbeki-appointed Education Minister Naledi Pandor to resolve a wage dispute at a university.

"Your children must be allowed to go to school with coolie [a racially derogatory term for Indians] children," in October 2011 calling for better education for black people.

On himself

"I think parliament is for old people, don't you agree? It's not my favourite place," in January 2009, rejecting his nomination to serve in parliament.

"If I am expelled from the ANC, no problem. Life goes on. I've played my role and my name will be counted in history. There are people who are far older than me who have never played any role and their names are not relevant to the history of South Africa," in October 2011, while facing charges of bringing the ANC in disrepute.

"Not even the president can stop me. Not even death can stop me. My ideas are out there. Even if I am no more, people will continue those ideas," in September 2012, before a warrant for his arrest was issued following an investigation into alleged corruption.

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