Economic Freedom Fighters Commander in Chief, Julius Malema said during the state of nation address debate in parliament today that his party, notorious for staging walkouts during Zuma’s addresses, is willing to give Ramaphosa a chance.
“I want to state clearly on behalf of the EFF that we are willing to give you a chance as the president of the Republic of South Africa, as head of state and government,” Malema said.
He said his organisation had taken the decision to give Ramaphosa an opportunity because he had not been found guilty of being “a constitutional delinquent”.
“We do not entertain delinquents, we deal with delinquents decisively like we did before. It is very easy for a country to degenerate if you allow individuals to become constitutional delinquents,” the CiC said.
He advised Ramaphosa to never expect to be treated as a king though he must always be a leader.
“You must welcome those who criticise you and always you must defend the rights of those who disagree with you to disagree with you,” he said, urging the president not to abuse his power.
Malema said though the EFF hasd given Ramaphosa a chance, the organisation was of the view that he did not have a comprehensive plan for addressing the challenges faced by the country.
“That’s why you came here and told us of job summits because you are still going to look for plans out of the job summits. That is why you came here and told us about the issues of a social sector summit because there is no plan. You came here and told us about an investment conference because there is no plan. You told us about youth summits because you have no clear plan on how you are going to resolve the thorny issue of youth unemployment,” he said.
Malema added the president did not have a plan for dealing with tax collection either “because Sars has collapsed”.
“That is why you have called for the commission of inquiry into tax affairs,” he said.
Malema said Ramaphosa was doing all this because he was aware his presidency would last 12 months and so would not be effective.
The CiC warned the leader of the opposition that the DA’s retention of metro councils would be determined by the party’s position on the issue of land expropriation without compensation.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said during his response that in dealing with the injustices of the past when it came to the land issue, government should consider the rights of all current and future landowners.
“We can correct this injustice in a way that respects the rule of law and in which the rights of current and future landowners are protected. We can speed up land reform by rooting out corruption and inefficiency. We must trust emerging black farmers with real land ownership, and not just as permanent tenants of the state. Let those who work the land, own the land,” Maimane said.
Malema said the DA’s stance might lead to the two parties clashing as they were of opposing views.
“Because anyone who opposes the expropriation of land without compensation is the enemy of the people and such a person will be dealt with,” Malema said.
Turning his attention to the president, Malema said Ramaphosa’s mention of the issue during his Sona failed to capture the attention of the media because “they know you are bluffing”.
“They know you are not serious about it. Anybody who is worried about investment in South Africa would have been worried when you mentioned the expropriation of land without compensation but you told them ‘I’m just passing time; don’t worry I’m silencing my opponents in the ANC’,” he said.
Malema said the issue could not be used as a bluff or to pass time or jokingly because it was highly emotive and should only be uttered when one was fully committed to its realisation.
“There are no conditions attached to the expropriation of land without compensation because when they took our land they never attached any condition; they just killed our people,” he said.