The EFF leader said the party don’t want the president to deliver his budget speech and that it must be addressed by the deputy president because the president must be at the police station explaining himself.
Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane
EFF LEADER Julius Malema has urged all South Africans to rally behind the call to force the president to resign, warning his protectors that he would suffer more embarrassment if he stayed on as the nation’s leader.
Speaking during a media briefing at Winnie Madikizela Mandela House in Joburg yesterday, Malema was unapologetic about his call for Ramaphosa to step aside to allow criminal investigations against him to proceed.
“Fellow South Africans, we gave Ramaphosa a chance to prove himself. He has dismally failed. We will treat him the same way we have treated (former president Jacob) Zuma.
“He must leave the office with immediate effect because he has not respected his oath of office.
“Everywhere and anywhere where we find Ramaphosa or we see Ramaphosa or we have an opportunity to stop him from speaking in the name of South Africa, we will do so.
“We call upon all the fighters and the ground forces to start treating Ramaphosa as such. We will start on Thursday (tomorrow) and it will be waya waya until he lets go of that office,” he said.
The EFF leader stated that Ramaphosa was not worthy of the office he occupies. “That office must be occupied by a man of integrity, not a hypocrite, a man with double personalities. In front of cameras he is something else and behind cameras he is buying the silence of girls not to speak. We will not allow that. We will not allow a president who lives a double life,” said Malema.
When asked why he was using words “borrowed” from the ANC, such as step aside, Malema explained that this was simply English.
“Step aside simply means the president must take a leave of absence to allow the investigations to take place. He cannot remain in that office. A career policeman investigating the president and doing that without fear? It’s not possible. A career prosecutor prosecuting the president without being scared? Zuma sat there as a president with all these things that they are charging him with being there and they couldn’t.
“They had to wait for him to leave office before they could charge him. Cyril says he’s got nothing to hide. Let him take leave of absence.”
Malema cautioned law enforcement agencies against favouritism.
“It shouldn’t be that when it’s Ramaphosa we are quiet. It shouldn’t be that when it’s Malema we speak a lot. If this money was found in Malema’s house, what was going to happen? He ought to have reasonably known that there was money there. But because it’s Ramaphosa you treat him differently. We are not going to allow that,” said Malema.
He added that no one at the SA Revenue Service would dare probe a president who was tipped to return triumphant from the ANC’s elective conference in December.
“Please, let’s be honest. There won’t be a free and fair investigation if the man is still in office. If he is cleared he will come back to the office. If he is not cleared, he will wear overalls,” he said.
Earlier, Malema drew parallels with the case of animal cruelty against former Assembly speaker Thandi Modise, who was acquitted after her pigs, sheep and ducks starved to death under a caretaker at her farm in Modderfontein near Rustenburg in 2014.
Modise, now Minister of Defence, faced private prosecution in the Potchefstroom Regional Court following charges of animal neglect brought by AfriForum on behalf of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The court found that her caretaker had returned to Zimbabwe to care for his ailing son without alerting the owner of the animals.
“When Thandi Modise said she was not there when her pigs starved to death she was still arrested and charged. Today, we are not talking about animal rights, but human rights of people who were tortured in the house of the president through the instruction of the president,” said Malema.
Malema warned that Ramaphosa would not be allowed to deliver his presidency budget speech tomorrow.
“We do not rule out the possibility of a shutdown to demand that the president must step aside. We don’t want the president to address the budget on Thursday. The budget must be addressed by the deputy president because the president must be at the police station explaining himself. Parliament is not a place of criminals. Parliament is a place of honourable members. Therefore, the president shall be treated the same way we treated the president who disrespected our Constitution. Ziyakhala manje,” said Malema.
University of Mpumalanga political analyst Dr John Molepo said it would be difficult for Ramaphosa to step aside.
“It is questionable why (former spy boss Arthur) Fraser took time to raise this issue if it happened two years ago, but the milk has already been spilled, which leaves the ball in the court of the ANC.
“However, it’s going to be difficult for the ANC to call for their head to resign. Immediately when you tell your leader to resign you are saying the ANC has failed, so they will try by all means to try and evade his accountability to the broader society.
“They will come up with various methods for the president not to step aside. The only thing that I see is that society will lose faith in the president and will start to see a different side. The president will not voluntarily step down. No one can volunteer to lose power,” said Molepo.