South Africa’s Malema: ‘Mnangagwa is a sell out’

By Crystal Orderson, in Cape Town

Posted on Thursday, 11 April 2019 13:13
Julius Malema says the EFF is "looking at total victory" in the 8 May polls. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The EFF's Julius Malema lashed out not only at the ANC but at Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a press briefing ahead of what he calls South Africa's "most contested" election since 1994.

It’s a party some South Africans love to hate. Regardless, they now simply cannot ignore the red berets.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) formed on the eve of the 2014 election and received 6% of the national vote. Several election polls now show the party, formed by former African National Congress (ANC) poster child Julius Malema, is a major force for the 8 May vote:

  • Data from the Institute of Race Relations suggest Malema is more popular than Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane.
  • An Ipsos poll says EFF would be the official opposition in three provinces: Gauteng; Limpopo and the North West.
  • Afrobarometer says the DA and the EFF are polling evenly at 11% of the vote – almost doubling the support they received in 2014.

In his televised media briefing on Wednesday Malema dismissed the pollsters’ findings: “We are working on the ground, we don’t put too much on research. We are going for total victory,” Malema told the journalists assembled in the party’s Braamfontein headquarters.

Harsh words for Cyril

Having been cordial towards to new president in the past, Malema was now scathing on Cyril Ramaphosa and says he won’t survive a full term in office. Malema refers to him as “Thuma Mina” – a term coined by Ramaphosa himself for people to work together.

“He won’t finish his term in office, I am telling you now. He won’t come back in 2020. I have experience in the ANC and I can tell you the ANC is now about to vomit someone. It will vomit him, ‘Thuma Mina’ will be removed and David ‘DD’ Mabuza will run the country. We are in trouble. The only solution is the EFF.”

The DA can talk to the hand

The EFF is in coalition with the DA in Johannesburg and Tshwane, but the two don’t talk, according to Malema.

“The DA is worse – their attack on the EFF makes it extremely impossible for us to take up a phone to even call them […]. It is so bad […] the DA launched a complaint to remove our posts […]. I do not talk to them, not even a ‘Hi’, I am done with them.”

Mnangagwa has failed the revolution

Land expropriation without compensation is one of the EFF’s main campaign promises, and Malema lambasted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s plans to compensate white farmers in Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe is swimming in a pool of poverty, cannot afford basic things like education and health. It is a sell-out position and reversing the gains of the revolution,” Malema said.

“[White farmers] do not deserve any compensation, Mnangagwa is a sell out. We thought he will bring fresh air to Zim but he is worse. He is a sell-out and he must know it. Anyone compensating for expropriating land is a sell out.”

Dinner with Zuma

From being his number one praise singer to vilifying him in public, Julius Malema was Jacob Zuma’s Achilles heel. But Malema says he does not hate Zuma:

“I forgive Zuma. I can have dinner with him. But he must go to jail, no flip-flopping on this. I want him to answer for his sins.”


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