Late former president Nelson Mandela turned his back on parts of the revolution after being released from prison, EFF leader Julius Malema has said.
“The deviation from the Freedom Charter was the beginning of the selling out of the revolution. But why did Nelson Mandela sell out the Freedom Charter? When Mandela returned from prison he got separated with Winnie Mandela and went to stay in a house of the rich white men… he was looked after by the Oppenheimers,” Malema told the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom on Wednesday.
“Nelson Mandela used to attend the club meetings of those white men who owned the South African economy at the time.”
His comments were in response to a question on whether Mandela betrayed the people of South Africa in exchange for political power.
Malema said these white men had access to Mandela 24 hours a day and they told him that “what he represents would not be achieved”.
“That’s when he turned against himself,” Malema said.
“The Nelson we celebrating now is not the Nelson we celebrated… [before he] went to prison. It is a stage-managed Nelson Mandela who compromised the fundamental principles of the revolution, which are well captured in the Freedom Charter.”
He said the EFF subscribed to the Freedom Charter
“The Freedom Charter is the bible of the South African revolution. Any deviation from that is a sell-out position.
“We normally don’t use those phrases like Mandela sold out – [then] we are being too harsh. He was too old, he was tired, so he had to give in on some of the things… so he left it to us.
“We have to take it [the revolution] up where Madiba left it. That is why he said the struggle is not over.”