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Johannesburg - Hogwash! This is how the ANC has branded Julius Malema’s latest attack on President Jacob Zuma.
Malema has claimed that the ANC’s senior leaders are so scared of Zuma that they are reluctant to criticise him.
On Thursday night, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu rubbished Malema’s claim as “hogwash”.
“There is no democracy in the world like in the ANC meeting. In fact, he (Zuma) is the one who encourages democracy… ”
In a wide-ranging interview on Talk Radio 702, the Economic Freedom Fighters leader singled out former human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale, former minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor.
But Malema commended Arts and Culture Minister and Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile as among the “only few brave leaders” not afraid to raise their dissatisfaction with Zuma.
Sexwale was one of the three ministers Zuma axed from his cabinet in August.
Malema said Pandor had initially challenged Zuma for his remarks that the ANC would rule until Jesus Christ returned.
“Naledi Pandor was bold, then all of a sudden she was bowing,” he alleged.
“Anyone who stands up and speaks out against President Zuma, be sure there will be a long queue of people telling you how wrong you are,” Malema said, adding that Manuel was another of the choristers praising Zuma.
Manuel and Sexwale could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Home Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said Pandor “will not dignify that (Malema’s remarks) with a response”.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj refused to comment. But political analyst Professor Lesiba Teffo said Malema had highlighted issues that were quietly being raised by ANC leaders.
“A lot (of leaders) know about what is wrong, (including) the rot and corruption. But they would rather be silent as they are mainly concerned about securing their stomachs.”
Mashatile also could not be reached for comment.