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Malema calls Mabuza an ‘illiterate’ who ‘specialises in smoking’

At the party’s sixth birthday celebrations, the EFF leader also called on South Africans to hasten the departure of billionaire Johann Rupert.

Julius Malema
Julius Malema

Addressing a crowd at the EFF’s sixth birthday celebrations at the KaNyamazane Stadium in Mpumalanga on Saturday, party leader Julius Malema called the province the most corrupt in the country, taking swipes at provincial strongman David Mabuza.

It had been run for several years by the controversial figure of Mabuza when he was provincial ANC chairperson and the premier. He had to relinquish this role after being elected deputy president of the ANC and the country, but many continue to allege that he continues to pull the strings in his home province.

Malema, who is known for regular insults of his perceived enemies and rivals, has repeatedly warned that Mabuza is in pole position to become South Africa’s next president.

The EFF became the official opposition in the province earlier this year after coming second to the ANC in May’s general elections.

Malema thanked his voters for their faith in his party, adding that the EFF would be an effective opposition. He also returned to familiar themes of anti-white sentiment, saying that the EFF was “the most progressive party” with no “white advisers” that was “owned by black people and no one can claim control over this political party”.

He turned to Mabuza, alleging that the deputy president was an example of “illiterate leaders” in the ANC “who specialise in smoking”.

“Everything they come across, they smoke,” presumably a reference to politicians who loot public funds.

“The people of Nkangala are crying because they do not have water because the corrupt ANC officials have spent the money which was meant for water.”

The EFF leader added it was shocking that only one of 21 municipalities in the province had returned a clean audit.

He criticised the ANC’s culture of deploying unqualified cadres into top positions, with loyalty to Mabuza allegedly the most important criterion.

As Malema always does, he called for the return of all land into black hands, and accused the ANC of collaborating with the “enemy of black people”. He criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa for listening to advice from white people.

“You [Ramaphosa] are in trouble because you listen to white advice. They have surrounded you with white people so that you can reject your own.”

Malema also hit out at another familiar target, billionaire Johann Rupert, who has expressed major concern about the country and that he might leave because of the prospect of a Mabuza presidency.

“Rupert controls Trevor Manuel, Jamandas [Pravin Gordhan] and Tito Mboweni. He says if we don’t stop, he will leave. I’m calling on all South Africans, let us speed up the departure of Rupert.”

He rejected reports that Rupert had “infiltrated” the EFF, allegedly through deputy president of the party Floyd Shivambu.

Malema also boasted about the role the EFF had played in reducing support for the ANC.

“Who knew that the ANC would have less than 60% one day? They said they would rule until Jesus comes but look at how their support is decreasing.”

He once again hit out at Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, using an anti-Indian slur to warn the minister that he would “go” the same way former president Jacob Zuma did and others the party had “pronounced on”.

“Jamandas, while you are enjoying your curry at home, you must know that the EFF has pronounced on you.”

The EFF has joined Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in defending her report against Gordhan and the SA Revenue Service.

“We are not protecting Busiswe Mkhwebane,” said Malema. “We are protecting the chapter 9 institutions and we are protecting the Office of the Public Protector.”

The Citizen