Malema snubs Ramaphosa's meeting on riots and looting, says ANC must solve its own problems

14 July 2021 - 16:10 By andisiwe makinana
EFF leader Julius Malema questioned the absence of government leadership on the ground and the fact that leaders waited until after the deployment of soldiers before visiting affected communities. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema questioned the absence of government leadership on the ground and the fact that leaders waited until after the deployment of soldiers before visiting affected communities. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell

EFF leader Julius Malema has snubbed President Cyril Ramaphosa's meeting with leaders of political parties to find solutions to the looting, violence and destruction affecting parts of the country.

He told TimesLIVE that he pulled out of meetings with Ramaphosa because the president was using political party leaders to “rubber-stamp” decisions already made, disregarding their contributions and only running with inputs aligned to the DA.

He claimed to have declined the invitation because he would not be part of solving ANC problems.

“I don't participate in rubbish. I told them not to invite me to their nonsense again. I don’t participate in non-productive meetings meant to impress white people,” he said on Wednesday.

“I was ready to compromise for our country to make progress, particularly with regards to the coronavirus, until Ramaphosa started reading the script of the DA raw as it is, without changing a comma, without changing a full stop.

“I then said I am not going to be part of rubber-stamping a white man's agenda,” he said.

“Every time we speak to him, he creates an impression that he agrees with us, and then the next thing he says a completely different thing altogether to what we were speaking about as leaders of political parties,” he added.

In an interview with TimesLIVE, Malema characterised the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as an ANC problem.

“It's a factional battle, it's a complete factional battle which has got nothing to do with us.”

He said the battle involved an incapacitated president who “bought his way” to the ANC presidency and did not enjoy the support of his organisation on the ground.

This was in relation to allegations that members of Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign used money raised to influence the outcome of the ANC's national elective congress in 2017.

Malema said the failure to address communities at local level was further confirmation that Ramaphosa never won the vote of genuine ANC members on the ground. Had he enjoyed that overwhelming majority support, ANC members in the party's lower structures would be defending him.

“The majority of the people must buy into your idea so that if anything happens, they rise themselves in your defence,” he said.

Malema criticised Ramaphosa's “ethnic mobilisation” statement, saying it was a dangerous characterisation, not sustainable and amateurish.

“There is no ethnic or tribal problem here. There is a Zuma problem which is an ANC problem they must find a way of dealing with internally and convince their people about the incarceration of Jacob Zuma.”

Another issue was poverty and inequality that he said the ANC government has to find solutions to, adding that they should engage people on the ground.

He criticised the deployment of the army, saying it was unacceptable to deploy soldiers instead of dealing with political issues politically.

He questioned the absence of government leadership on the ground and leaders waiting until after the deployment of soldiers before visiting affected communities.

“The ground got messed up. Those people who are looting, those people who are doing all manner of things that we don't agree with, they too do not deserve to be shot at by soldiers. It is political internal instability which politicians can deal with.

“Bheki Cele goes to Mamelodi and Alexandra after the soldiers have been there. Why is Bheki Cele not going to KwaZulu-Natal if he is really and genuinely dealing with this problem?”

Malema said he was not supporting Zuma, pointing out that he would have gone to court and joined Zuma's case if he was part of the Zuma defence.

TimesLIVE


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