Straight-talker Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie has written an open letter to Julius Malema, titled Thug to Thug.
Dear fellow thug
Julius Malema, our Conmander in Thief, you haven’t held back in expressing your disdain for me. So allow me to respond. Pull up a chair.
I have no problem with someone drawing attention to my dark past, because it’s not something I’ve ever tried to hide. I did do despicable things; I was a criminal. I know other people who did the kinds of things I did and today it doesn’t seem to bother them. Some of them are still doing crime and are better at it than ever. But unlike them, my past bothers me, which is why I give back today and have spent the past decade making amends wherever and however I can.
But I find that what bothers many people more than the fact that I once committed crimes is the fact that I am today successful in spite of my past and am achieving more in my business career than they are, even though they’ve never committed a crime. I can’t do anything about that. I’m not going to choose to be a failure or even just average so that I can allow someone out there to feel better about himself.
But what I will not stand for is an even bigger thug and criminal than I ever was calling me a thug and acting like he is better than me.
You claim I am the reason so many people in the EFF seem to be turning against you. You blame Kenny and me for elaborate plots to destabilise the EFF. One thug to another: you’re giving me too much credit, bra. How could I be Andile Mngxitama’s puppet master. One thing he and Chester Missing have in common is stubbornness. I could never get that guy to do anything his revolutionary conscience couldn’t live with. I’ve never even met some of the biggest agitators against you in EFF – guys like Lufuno Gogoro. Kenny and I have had nothing to do with how you run your party. We’re hearing about your shenanigans from the people closest to you – and they’re telling us about it because we always warned them what kind of person you are and what you would do once you had any power again. Don’t blame us for being right.
Are we the reason you continue to insist on paying the legislature salary of a convicted criminal who is sitting in prison? My salary was R24 a month in prison and I was one of the most highly paid. I hope the only reason you would pay a prisoner more than the head of that prison is because you would like to set the precedent so that you too can enjoy the spoils of a public salary when you go to jail – and not, as I have long feared – because Papiki Babuile knows that you were party to the murder conspiracy that earned him 12 years behind bars. I really, really hope he hasn’t taken that bullet for you, thug to thug.
All the same, the speaker of the North West legislature has sent you a letter making it perfectly clear that what you are doing for Papiki is illegal. And yet you consistently refuse to even engage with government on what you are doing. And yet you expect people to believe that you will have a zero-tolerance approach to corruption if you become president of the country?
Are we the reason all your official EFF coffers have run dry and you can’t pay staff and electricity in your constituency offices? Are we the reason some of those offices are having to shut down and it’s not even a year since the election? That’s why you had to lay off staff and members had to contribute towards your conference – while you happily shopped in Sandton using your EFF credit cards. Somehow Floyd can afford to drive everywhere in a new Porsche Panamera? But he couldn’t even afford to put tyres on his car two years ago.
Are we the reason you pay your own tax money using an EFF credit card? I know about the R30 000 the party pays every month (you’ve even upped the credit card’s limit to R100 000) and about a whole lot more besides, but I’ve got nothing to do with any of that either. Like many others, I just know about it.
We knew you and Floyd when you were down and out and didn’t know where to turn. Because my money is Kenny’s money and vice-versa, I had to pay for your flights. I put tyres on Floyd’s car. We fed you, paid for your petrol and your accommodation. Never in my life has any man thanked me so profusely for such a little bit of money as Floyd did. I still have his SMSes. I can show you, if you have forgotten how it was. We even arranged someone to edit your manifesto for you. When every door was closed to you, you went to the sushi door to knock for help. At great personal sacrifice – because we didn’t have a lot of spare money to be handing out to you at that time – we still agreed to help you because at that time we didn’t realise who you really were. But it didn’t take long to figure it out and that’s why Kenny left the EFF, because on principle he could not work with the warmongering, money-grubbing, capitalist robed in revolutionary gear dictator you so clearly are. But I will leave it to him to finally tell that story properly.
Yes, I contested the elections with the Patriotic Alliance and the EFF beat us fair and square, so much so that we had to go back to the drawing board and Kenny decided to leave politics altogether, a decision I respected. But political parties like mine can always make a comeback. We have the right intentions. And I made it clear from the outset that my grievance was never with the EFF but with you personally. I could have joined the EFF if you and Floyd were not there. What the EFF brings to politics is essential to the discourse of this country and there are many good people in the party, but it has no hope as long as you are leading it.
You don’t have seven cardinal pillars. You have one central pillar called Zuma. That’s all you are obsessed with. The fact is we know how you still take your orders from a particular faction in the ANC. We know you met with the same ANC faction in Maputo that gave you 6 000 T-shirts to go and embarrass President Zuma at FNB Stadium. Why would you lie about even having gone to Maputo when it’s easy to prove that you were at the Southern Sun hotel? Because you know it would look bad. I knew about that meeting before it happened, but I saw it as none of my business – until you mentioned my name in your EFF battles and have now made me part of your business.
People like Lufuno Gogoro, Mpho Ramakatsa and Andile Mngxitama are the stone in your shoe preventing you from completing your plan of making a triumphant return to the ANC. This is no big secret. Lufuno spoke about it, Ramakatsa knows about it, Andile knows about it. It’s an open secret that you’ve been in talks with the ANC. If journalists were less obsessed with fault-finding in our one president, they would find many faults in our other president, you. But all will still be revealed in due course.
Someone like Ramakatsa is fighting you not for power or personal gain but because he is too principled to stand aside and watch you pillage the bank accounts of a party that’s meant to be there to help uplift the poor.
You attack journalists for reporting on how you bought your Golf GTI, but you weren’t able to disprove any of their facts. You just attack people personally when you have no way of defending your case. But what are you hiding? The company that owns that car, Voorsprong Trading, paid money into your bank account on 23 December from their Absa account (which I can prove to any journalist of your choosing). Why would they do that? What did you receive that money for? How do 22-year-old students make enough money that they can pay you? Why would the company’s former director, who shares your surname and is known to be your family member, deny ever knowing you but still be happy to pay you large sums of money? You blame me for the Golf story, but if I had wanted to go for you I would have included that information. These students have six bank accounts – I don’t even know if you are getting any money from the other five accounts.
On top of your salary at EFF you go around with two EFF credit cards, one on Lee-Anne Mathys’ name and the one you use for personal purchases. You get a salary from parliament. You’re not allowed to take one cent from your party. But you do and you threaten everyone who dares to have a problem with it. You declare they’re part of a “conspiracy” against you.
You are a thug. You insist on interrupting the state of the nation speech because you say there’s no law stopping you from doing it. The reason there’s no law is because no one would ever have imagined someone like you would think there’s something to be gained in stopping a president from telling the country what government’s plans are for dealing with our problems. If they had known the extent of the thuggishness coming their way, they would have written laws against such people. But it would have to take a very cynical person to imagine that someone like you could even exist.
I hear that in private you have a lot to say about the fact that I have many children. That’s true, but they all know each other, play together and go on holiday together. They are family. If you are such a good family man, why don’t you come out and tell us about the lady from Sunnyside, Pretoria, who bore you a child? If you push me on it, I can reveal who she is, but my fight is not with her. Let’s be honest, thug to thug. Ratanang is not your only child. One’s shame, Julius, is not in having a child with a woman you are not married to. The shame lies in trying to keep that child a secret, as you do. That is a form of abuse, for a child never to know its father, and you should be very ashamed. We know the reason you are supporting that child is not because you want to take care of it either. The mother threatened to go public and demand a paternity test. But still you dare to stand on the high moral ground, saying you will liberate South Africa. First liberate your child.
You have a lot to say about sushi parties and accusing Andile of eating sushi with Kenny. Andile wasn’t partying with Kenny as Floyd was in October. If you think Andile is a sushi disciple, it must be because both of you graduated from his college cum laude. I don’t like Kenny’s parties and I never attend them, but you and Floyd want front-row seats.