The leader of the South African opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, has dared the European Union (EU) and other funders to “go to hell with their money” if they are not happy with the election of ZANU PF Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira as president of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).
Charumbira, who was the Southern region’s endorsed candidate, garnered 161 votes from a possible total of 203 votes during elections held at a session of the continental legislative body in Midrand, South Africa on Wednesday.
There were 31 abstentions and 11 spoilt votes.
Malema was asked by journalists if Charumbira’s election would not upset funders like the European Union and ultimately cause them to halt funding the continental body. He responded:
They can withhold it. We are not going to be told by the people giving us money how to think, how to act.
If they want to withdraw their money, they can withdraw it. Secondly, this is not Zimbabwe. This is Africa.
We are dealing with continental politics, and when dealing with continental politics, you look beyond the country’s politics.
… if the EU wants to withdraw money because it wants to dictate to Africans what to do, I do not have sympathy. They can take their money.
They can actually go to hell with their money.
Malema said that, among all the parliamentarians at the Pan-African Parliament, Charumbira is the most well-experienced person from the Southern caucus. He said:
He knows the ins and outs, the weakness of the institution. He knows which areas need to be fixed.
We cannot, on the basis of party politics, then overlook the necessary capacity which will take this institution forward.
For us, it was not an issue of ZANU PF or MDC – that question is neither here nor there.