Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema told President Cyril Ramaphosa that he could not see what former President Nelson Mandela once saw in him.

Malema was speaking during a debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the National Assembly on Tuesday.

"We were abused here by an election campaign that saw people like Oprah Winfrey rented and brought here to tell us about how (former president) Nelson Mandela wanted you to be president. There is no sign of what he saw in you [that we can see]," said Malema.

Malema was referencing an event last year where Winfrey was addressing the Global Citizen Festival in December and introduced Ramaphosa as Mandela's preferred successor.

Malema also hit out at Ramaphosa over the content of his State of the Nation Address, saying it was incompatible with the ANC's election manifesto as well as its erstwhile national conference resolutions.

Ramaphosa's address, last week Thursday, highlighted seven principles and five goals for the next decade to improve South Africa's socio-economic prospects.

Malema laid into Ramaphosa personally and read the president for filth as a man who had relentless presidential ambitions for years but had no plan on how to improve the state of South Africa's beleaguered economy.

A usually fiery Malema was rather blase when he said the State of the Nation Address should be construed as Ramaphosa reneging from his election promises and ANC party resolutions.

"If anything, those who voted for you are now regretting it, because they wasted their vote on a president without a plan. You have no plan to systematically address poverty, landlessness and unemployment," Malema said.

Ramaphosa's SONA was little more than dreams and Wakanda - Maimane

Malema said Ramaphosa buckled to outward pressure when he remained silent on policies in the ANC aimed at addressing South Africa's uneven economy.

"We urge you to recall that (ANC) conference resolutions are binding. Even Mandela recognised these as a mandate which must be implemented," he said.

Malema took aim at Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, warning Ramaphosa not to undermine the office of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who found against the minister in a recent investigation.

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