Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema on Thursday led a stinging attack against several ANC bigwigs for being too scared of President Jacob Zuma to challenge him for wrongdoing.
He said former human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale, former minister in the presidency Trevor Manuel, and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor bowed to Zuma because they were scared of him.
Malema said at first he thought they would take a stand against Zuma.
“Tokyo Sexwale, I think he has disappeared,” Malema said during an interview on Talk Radio 702 on Thursday morning.
“We relied on people like Tokyo... he disappointed me... but they are so scared of one individual. He was silenced. We hope he will have courage and come out.”
He said Pandor used to be brave.
“Naledi Pandor, she was bold, then all of a sudden she was bowing.”
He said she initially challenged Zuma on his comments that the African National Congress would rule until Jesus returned.
“She took him on that matter. Everybody was scared, like: 'What is she saying?'“ he said.
“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.”
He said Manuel was only there to praise Zuma on his speeches.
“Trevor Manuel used to stand up and say (to Zuma) 'today you gave great inputs, (the) best of best speech'.
“People like Trevor are overrated. He is useless.”
Malema said the controversy surrounding the upgrades to Zuma's Nkandla residence showed everyone was scared to say anything.
“Somebody messed up somewhere (on Nkandla)... the ministers are protecting him.”
He said there were a few people in the ANC who continued to challenge Zuma, including Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile.
“Paul he is very brave. He took them (Zuma and the ministers) on about Nkandla.”
Malema commended former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, who recently started a campaign for South Africans to either spoil their vote or vote for an opposition party.
Kasrils said the ANC under Zuma had become a movement where the police were out of control and killing people.
Malema said when he was ANC Youth League president, he was not afraid to challenge Zuma.
“I told Zuma that all his speeches are the same and he always concludes with gossip,” he recalled.
“We challenged president Zuma from within... but Zuma's intention was to see me selling loose cigarettes in Zone One, Seshego.”
"It's unprofessional... and the Guptas are involved in the nominations. They impose it on (the ANC)."
He claimed that current SABC acting CEO Hlaudi Motsoeneng got the job because he was a friend of Zuma's.
"It is not correct to employ someone who knows the president," he said.
In February, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report which found Motsoeneng's appointment irregular. Motsoeneng's salary had increased from R1.5-million to R2.4m in one year. She found he fraudulently misrepresented his qualifications - that he passed matric - to the SABC.
Malema said when he was still ANC Youth League president he had a talk with Motsoeneng about Zuma.
"I had a talk with Hlaudi who told me he is loyal to President Zuma. I asked: 'But why are you loyal to Zuma and not the ANC'?
"I never supported Hlaudi but I know how we used to change news bulletins at the SABC."
The influential Gupta family, who reportedly have ties with Zuma, made headlines in April last year when their chartered commercial aircraft landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
Jet Airways flight JAI 9900 from India was ferrying more than 200 guests to the wedding of Vega Gupta and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia.
The landing sparked widespread criticism and several investigations were launched. A government investigation exonerated Zuma and his ministers, and found the landing was the result of "collusion by officials". - Sapa