Julius Malema says no to Dusi Canoe Marathon

Cape Town – A top paddler on Tuesday invited ANC Youth League president Julius Malema to do the Dusi Canoe Marathon with him in February 2011.

However, it looks unlikely that Malema will take up the offer.

Oscar Chalupsky, who has won numerous paddling and kayaking events including the World Paddle Ski/Ocean Kayak Championships and the Umkomaas Marathon, sent the ANCYL president the invite on Tuesday morning.

“The Dusi Marathon is a well-known story of transformation (and) would be a great opportunity for the ANCYL and Julius Malema,” said Ray de Vries, chairperson of the Natal Canoe Club, which organises the race.

But, it’s apparently not that well-known as the youth league’s spokesperson Floyd Shivambu had not ever heard of the event.

“What is this?” asked Shivambu when told by News24 about the Dusi.

When told that the event involves a race down the river in a canoe, Shivambu asked what a canoe was.

Chalupsky sent a letter to Malema and his personal assistant on Tuesday at 09:00. De Vries said Chalupsky would steer the boat from the front, his brother from the back while Malema would be in the middle.

“He would only have to be moderately fit,” De Vries told News24.

“We do not entertain anything that has nothing to do with politics,” Shivambu said.

“You white and coloured journalists have this tendency of disrespecting (the ANCYL),” an angry Shivambu said before ending the call.

De Vries said it would be “very sad” if Malema did not participate in the race as it was a “wonderful opportunity” for the youth league.

The Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place on February 17, 18 and 19 2011 from Pietermaritzburg to Durban through the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

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