Bapedi Queen Manyaku “Hlapogadi A Phaahla” Thulare has blasted government leaders for allegedly neglecting the poor.
The Queen was speaking during a birthday celebration hosted at her house by EFF leader Julius Malema at Mohlaletse in Sekhukhune, Limpopo, on Friday.
During the celebrations, Malema unveiled a double cab bakkie that the EFF bought for the Queen. He said they also provided a borehole for Queen Thulare in order to restore her dignity. The gift, which comes a few years after Malema bought a luxury car for Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, appears to be part of the EFF strategy to woo traditional leaders.
Amidst the celebrations, Malema assured traditional leaders that they were not obliged to vote for his party, but warned that they shouldn’t elect leaders who constantly fail them.
“We want to work with traditional leaders so that no one is able to take advantage of them. Working with traditional leaders does not mean you must vote for the EFF. We don’t work like that.
“We cannot work with religious leaders and say, ‘Vote EFF. ‘ No. We do not work like that. Religion and royalty are for all people… There is no traditional leader that is owned by the EFF,” said Malema.
Malema said helping people should never be done in exchange for votes.
“We help people because we feel we must help people. When people see our work, they will decide on their own that this is a party worth voting for,” he said.
He added that providing water was something the government could easily do.
“White people cannot respect anyone who doesn’t use a flushing toilet. This thing that you clap hands for lack of flushing toilets will make people disrespect us.
“Even white hobos use hot water to bathe, but we celebrate bathing with cold water. I once found women drawing water from a well. What hurt me the most was that there was a dead donkey in there.
“Where was the councillor because every village must have one? He should have removed the donkey from the well. Eventually, the same people who drink the water with a donkey inside go back and vote for the same donkey that is in their water,” Malema said.
The political leader encouraged people to know they deserve better.
“We, as black people, must start saying we deserve more. There is no mine that doesn’t use water. That means they can provide water to accommodate every household.
“The government itself has enough resources to give you water, but they steal money meant to provide you with water. The Queen Mother has water today because she gave birth to caring children,” Malema said.
In her response, Queen Thulare expressed gratitude to Malema and the EFF. She said Malema was her “last born” child and should be respected as such.
“Where have you seen what you are witnessing today? I was not done birthing children. He is the last one and a comforter.
“He said to me, ‘The Pedi people deserve to be comforted, and I am going to celebrate my birthday with you.’ I have never seen anyone like him. Thank you so much,” she said.
“Our leaders have been saying ‘Sekhukhune, Sekhukhune,’ and they run to the toilet. Now they are going on pension. We could have been far if we had someone like the president (Malema).
“Thank you for the water. Water is life. I have been buying water for R2 000 per fortnight. I am not that rich. I have been asking for water since 2007.
“I have been carrying a bucket since 2007. I have been feeding my livestock with water from a bucket… (Our leaders) lack mercy. It’s as if they are born of the same mother. It doesn’t matter which problem you narrate to them. They don’t care,” said the Queen.