Cape Town - Buti Manamela, deputy minister in the Presidency, on Tuesday delivered a stinging rebuke to EFF leader Julius Malema, who last week blamed the ANC government for killing the Marikana miners.
Manamela, also leader of the Young Communist League, said in a debate on Youth Day:
“We should not compete with those who are prepared to even kick open doors.”
He said the EFF was ready to break every law and every rule, even as its members hid Gucci shoes and Breitling watches under their red overalls, a reference to Malema’s designer tastes.
“We must never be fooled. And even if the EFF’s noise appealed to the mainstream media, it did not appeal to the poor and working class who voted overwhelmingly for the ANC in the May 7 elections.”
Last week, Malema’s statement that the ANC government was responsible for the Marikana massacre was ruled unparliamentary. When he refused to withdraw it, he was ordered out of the National Assembly by
the presiding officer, National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise, the former North West premier.
When EFF MPs shouted “murderers” and “you were the premier when people were killed!”, the possibility of further disciplinary action was announced. But so far no decision on this has been made.
Saying Parliament was not a rally, Manamela described the EFF as a “spaza shop”.
EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu objected to this as “extremely out of order”, but presiding officer, House chairman Cedric Frolick, said he would study Hansard and rule if necessary.
Manamela lashed the EFF for “selective solidarity”, effectively accusing the party of sympathy for the 34 Marikana miners killed in August 2012, but not for the 10 lives lost in the preceding week.
He said “millions in legal fees” were earned by advocate Dali Mpofu, also an EFF commissar, who represents the 270 Marikana miners who were arrested and initially charged with killing their colleagues under the controversial apartheid doctrine of common purpose.
When Manamela outlined gruesome testimony delivered by Mr X before the Farlam Commission of inquiry, Shivambu argued that as evidence before the probe was one of the reasons for ordering Malema’s expulsion from the House last week, this should not be raised now.
Frolick said sub judice did not mean MPs could not refer to the commission without prejudicing its outcome.
Manamela had the last word. The Marikana inquiry would provide answers to the families who lost loved ones, and government would hold those responsible accountable.