Cape Town - If DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane thought he had endured a baptism of fire from the ANC after his maiden speech this week, he may find an unlikely new friend even harder to deal with.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has promised to “protect” Maimane from the governing party.
Maimane endured a withering attack from Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who called him a “hired native” and a “commodity” during the debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address, prompting an objection from the EFF.
“It is the responsibility of the EFF to fight for black people. And when we saw that a black brother was under attack, we stood up and said you cannot compare a human being with bread,” Malema told media in Parliament yesterday.
He said Maimane’s white DA colleagues had failed to come to his rescue, or that of DA MP Nqaba Bhanga, who was called a “factory fault”, because they saw it as “black-on-black violence”.
“Mmusi Maimane must not worry, we are here to protect him. If his party can’t do it, we will do it. We have seen that the ANC has made him a target,” Malema said.
But Maimane can be forgiven if he is confused by Malema’s apparent concern.
Reminded that he had himself called Maimane’s predecessor, Lindiwe Mazibuko, a “tea girl”, Malema promptly confirmed Maimane was also a “tea boy”.
“They are all working for madam (DA leader Helen Zille). But they are black, they must be defended. Who said tea boys and tea girls must not be defended?
“That’s what happens. Madam hires you, and when you are no longer making very nice tea you get dropped,” he said, referring to Mazibuko’s surprise departure from Parliament to study overseas.
“Sometimes these house n***ers, because they are inside the house, think they are the bosses, and they forget who they are,” Malema said, adding that he didn’t think Mazibuko would return to the DA after her falling out with Zille.
Sisulu didn’t escape Malema’s racial and gender stereotyping either, earning the title “Barbie Doll”.