Ramaphosa and Mboweni should take blame for 'wasted' years: Holomisa
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has lashed out at President Cyril Ramaphosa and finance minister Tito Mboweni for referring to the Zuma administration as "nine wasted years".
He believes that as senior leaders of the ANC at the time, they should also take the blame.
“Instead of owning up and showing respect for the nation, the governing party, led by its president and finance minister, further insult the nation and solely place the blame for South Africa’s mess squarely in the Zuma court, when in fact they were there as leaders of their party," said Holomisa.
“They attempt to hide behind any of their own goals by attributing it to the legacy of their former leader.”
Holomisa was presenting his assessment of SA politics to the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday. His presentation was billed as an alternative state of the nation, taking place two days before Ramaphosa is set to deliver his state of the nation address on Thursday.
Holomisa said ANC leaders had defended Zuma repeatedly during the opposition's motions of no confidence against him. He noted that over 80% of the current ANC leadership was in the party's national executive when Zuma was president.
“South Africans must remember that the removal of the African National Congress’s sponsored and monstrous head of state in 2018 was an initiative of the opposition parties, supported by a number of civil society organisations. This initiative was fiercely opposed by the ANC on all fronts.
“Be reminded of [Zuma’s] nine lives when he was defended by the ANC in nine votes of no confidence. Today they are telling us there is a new dawn, but they were part of that,” he said.
Holomisa joins a chorus of opposition leaders who have criticised Ramaphosa and Mboweni for shifting all the blame onto Zuma.
On Monday, IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa also slammed Ramaphosa. In an open letter to the president he said it was “a very opportunistic view to distance yourself from the grave realities of those years, particularly for the poor majority, as we saw everything from grand-scale corruption to the collapse of the economy to state capture. All this time, sir, you were a part of the system."
Zuma himself lambasted Ramaphosa by posting a link on his Twitter account to a video in which he listed government successes under his watch.
While Holomisa blamed the ANC for significantly reversing the country's development trajectory, he said he was not opposed to being part of a coalition government with them if the ANC approached him to do so.
He said the UDM has not entered into any pre-coalition agreements yet, but he has an open mind on the issue. “We will be looking at it. We have worked with the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal in 2004. We served in Mbeki's cabinet through our deputy minister and we are working with the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay as we speak," said Holomisa.
“We will work with anybody. Anybody."