Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema tore into President Cyril Ramaphosa during the debate on Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address delivered last week, asking what former president Nelson Mandela saw in him “that we don’t see.”
“After your speech, we now ask ourselves as to what did Madiba see in you which we can’t see? Your speech did not inspire confidence and hope among the poor, young and old people of SA,” the fiery Malema said.
Malema went on: “We have no SONA to debate… What we have is a misguided, incoherent, contradictory and proven to be futile ideas mixed in a bag of fantasies.”
In what netizens say was an ‘incisive rebuttal,’ Malema also challenged Ramaphosa to “come clean” on who donated to his campaign to become leader of the governing party in 2017.
“Mr President, we will not win a fight against corruption if the president is involved in allegations of money laundering,” the fiery EFF leader said.
Malema was referring to a pending report by the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who earlier this month wrote to the president, informing him that he had been implicated in her investigation into the R500 000 his campaign received from Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson.
In a hard-hitting counter, Malema added: “For a man to be hyped up by the entire local and international media only to pitch up extremely low is tragic. We were abused during the election campaign that saw people like Oprah Winfrey rented and sneaked into the country in the name of the global citizen festival to come and tell us how Madiba wanted you, Mr President, to be president.”
Taking a jibe at Ramaphosa’s reference to develop a bullet train, Malema said “after being stuck in an Atteridgeville train. Ramaphosa was so traumatised, he is now dreaming of a bullet train from Musina to Cape Town.”
“You failed to tell us what it is that you will do differently from how the ANC has handled the economy over the past 25 years. The main tenets of your message have remain trapped in the neoliberal conception of development that has failed to work in SA,” Malema said further.
Not so, said the ANC’s Seiso Mohai: “As a tried and tested mass party of the revolution, with accumulated fighting experience of over 107 years, the ANC has never been found wanting in finding solutions to its own challenges and the problems facing society.”
Malema ended by animating a wake-up gesture at Ramaphosa and said “Stop dreaming!”
Earlier, the Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu responded to the widespread assertions that Ramaphosa’s 2019 SONA was pure fantasy, “Those who claim that the SONA is all about dreams do not understand that all major revolutions worldwide begin with an idea,” Mthembu said.
“We are fortunate to have a great visionary in the calibre of President Ramaphosa as the Head of State. He is a big dreamer and a big doer at the same time.”
DA leader Mmusi Maimane told Ramaphosa to tackle the problems of the current urban centres before thinking of building new “smart cities. Maimane also criticised the president’s approach to the fourth industrial revolution, saying that giving school pupils tablets was not helpful.
Ageing IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said: Your dream speech is admirable in that we need hope but your party can’t even get the basics right. Your party can’t even agree on anything. We need solutions now.”