Malema said this when he led supporters to the United States embassy in Pretoria to protest against the brutal death of black American George Floyd at the hands of four white police officers in the US city of Minneapolis two weeks ago.
He said it would take fellow black people to show support for one another “for racism to be a thing of the past” in both South Africa, America and the rest of the world.
“You can’t say ‘South Africa First’. We must say, ‘Black First’, and defend all black lives here and defend all black lives everywhere,” Malema said.
He added: “Let us treat black lives with respect and dignity. We will never be respected if we suffer from self-hate.”
Paying his respects to the late Floyd, aged 46, at the diplomatic post, Malema and the EFF members knelt down for eight minutes – to mark the time it took white police officer Derek Chauvin to press his knee on Floyd’s neck before killing him in the streets of Minneapolis.
Other EFF members also gathered in front of the US Consulate in Cape Town and outside the US Consulate General in Johannesburg to register their protests against the macabre killing of Floyd, who will be laid to rest in Houston, Texas, on Monday.
Floyd’s death has invigorated the Black Lives Matter movement, which is demanding the reformation of the US justice system and an end to systematic racism in America.