Julius Malema (Pic: EFF)
Controversial Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) head Julius Malema, who is facing corruption charges, today urged his followers to “love gay people”.
The Mail & Guardian reported that Malema spoke outside the Polokwane High Court on Thursday after learning that his bid to have the charges dismissed had failed.
In addition to slamming his former political home, the ANC, and Cosatu and President Jacob Zuma, he also told the crowd that they should support gay equality.
“Love gay people … It’s their choice,” he was quoted as saying (although it’s not clear what led him to address this particular topic).
Malema also spoke about the scourge of HIV, saying: “Some of you are HIV-positive but you are ashamed, you’re not telling your family. Don’t feel under pressure to tell anyone. Gather the necessary courage and tell those who love you. We love you. I’m proud of you. No one has the right to judge you.
“We love those who have HIV and Aids in the world. We love all the gay people in South Africa and the world,” he added.
In 2009, Malema was slammed for his statements on intersex people when he commented on the International Association of Athletics Federations’ handling of the Caster Semenya fiasco.
“Why should we be told today our children are hermaphrodites? She’s a girl and why should we accept concepts that are imposed on us by the imperialists? We will never agree to that concept. You are either a girl or a boy and that’s it,” said Malema.
That same year, he was nominated as Drama Queen of the Year by the tongue-in-cheek gay Feather Awards.
He responded by saying: “I don’t recognise [the awards]. I’m not a queen because a queen refers to a woman. Those who feel like participating in those awards can go ahead and do so. I’m a man, so why include me in that category? I’m not a queen. We make kings.”
The organisers later withdrew his nomination, explaining: “We never intended this ceremony to be an issue that would cause anyone stress or unhappiness.”