Cape Town - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Friday that president Cyril Ramaphosa was the 'ice boy' (servant) of former president FW De Klerk.
Malema said this was the reason Ramaphosa had not reacted to De Klerk stating during a television interview last week that apartheid was not a crime against humanity.
Malema and his party caused a nearly two-hour delay at Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (SONA) on Thursday night, by demanding that De Klerk be removed as a guest from proceedings, and then, when that failed, demanded that Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan be fired. The EFF MPs eventually left parliament.
“They (whites) have got a special relationship with Cyril Ramaphosa. Their undermining of Cyril must never undermine us because we are not going to allow Cyril’s proximity to them to allow them to undermine us. De Klerk is speaking this way because he can see that there is no leadership in this country. It is his boy, they have been running since the 70s and 80s,” he said.
“Cyril, from school, went to work for the Oppenheimers, they always had him and that is why today their boy is in charge, they want to undermine us and we are not going to allow that nonsense.”
Malema made the remarks while addressing the press club in Cape Town.
Asked why his party took so long to raise the issue, Malema replied: “It doesn’t matter how long you take to report a crime, so if a person goes and reports crime after five years, we shouldn’t say no it’s not a crime because it’s after five years?”
“On the day [De Klerk] announced former president Nelson Mandela’s release, we were told that we must reconcile, we must forgive and forget and all along as De Klerk was making his way to parliament, we thought it was that process of reconciliation,” said Malema.
“But for him to come and show us a middle finger, and say apartheid was not a crime against humanity, it means that this person has got no remorse. It means he doesn't deserve a place in a democratic parliament, hence our actions [on Thursday night].”
De Klerk granted interviews this week to mark 30 years after his announcement of the unbanning of liberation movements, the release of political prisoners including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada, and the setting in motion of steps towards a negotiated political settlement.
In those interviews, he was at pains to assure South Africans that although apartheid could not be justified, it could not be equated to genocide. This despite a United Nations resolution which officially designated it a crime against humanity.
Malema said De Klerk did not undermine the country during Thabo Mbeki’s and Jacob Zuma’s era because he did not have any "files" - a reference to covert information - about the two former presidents.
“He didn’t do it during Mbeki’s era, he didn’t do it during Zuma’s era and now he’s got his ice boy as a president and he thinks he can undermine us because he controls Cyril. The white monopoly capital has never controlled Zuma, they have never controlled Mbeki and that's why they say those things back then. Now they say those things because they control Ramaphosa,” Malema added.