S.Africa's firebrand Malema eyes cattle farming

27th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

South Africa's firebrand youth leader Julius Malema has turned to cattle farming since his five-year suspension by the ruling party -- but will not quit politics, Sunday reports said.

"I have 20 cattle now. We will breed them, take them to the abattoir, slaughter them and then sell the meat. Now I am finished politically. They are saying I am suspended and all that," he told the Sunday Times.

The 30-year-old is fighting his suspension by the African National Congress after being found guilty of provoking divisions within the party of Nelson Mandela that has been in power since 1994.

"I am not this religious person who believes that some intervention will come from heaven. I have looked at the trends. I have listened to the speeches. They are all pointing in one direction," Malema told the newspaper.

But he will not leave quietly and told another Sunday newspaper that farming was a "hobby".

"I will not leave politics. I will never leave politics," he told the Weekend Argus in reaction to reports that he was to step down. "I found a new hobby in cattle farming."

"Whatever happens, one will be able to continue in politics. It's not about positions," he said.

"I will die in politics ... Even if I get expelled, I will stay in politics."

Malema became president of the ANC Youth League three years ago and quickly emerged as a key ally for President Jacob Zuma, who orchestrated the party's ouster of former president Thabo Mbeki and then won leadership elections in 2009.

But since then, Malema's allegiances have shifted and he began praising Mbeki as a better leader than Zuma -- remarks that resulted in one of his convictions by the party.

He was also found guilty of disrupting a national ANC meeting, and of bringing the party into disrepute by calling for "regime change" in democratic Botswana.

Malema has accused the ruling party of leading a witch hunt against him to silence his calls to nationalise mines and seize white-owned land to redistribute to blacks.

Seeking to fashion himself as a champion of the poor, Malema will remain the ANC Youth League leader until he exhausts his appeals, a process that could drag on for months.

© 2011 AFP

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