Malema vows to shake up sleepy Parliament
Cape Town - EFF leader Julius Malema on Thursday let rip, vowing to continue shaking up a sleepy Parliament and to not let President Jacob Zuma off the hook over repaying undue benefits from the R215 million taxpayer-funded Nkandla security upgrades.
The Nkandla saga had moved on to repaying the money being the only issue for Zuma, he said. “Do I e-wallet? Do I EFT? Do I send the money through Shoprite?” Malema told a capacity crowd at the Cape Town Press Club.
Speaking to the same press club where Zuma first announced he’d stand as president at the 2007 Polokwane ANC conference, Malema predicted Zuma would not serve out his current five-year term.
“I think the ANC will remove Jacob Zuma… The ANC people are not loyal. Look at what they did to Thabo Mbeki,” said Malema in reference to an ANC national executive committee (NEC) recalling Mbeki in September 2008. If the ANC did not remove Zuma - who had too many scandals hanging over his head - and replace him with a choice of its own before the end of his term, the EFF leader said: “South Africans will elect their president”, in 2019.
But until then, Zuma could expect a tough time.
“His troubles are too many. (DA leader) Helen Zille is on his neck with the (spy) tapes; asking for money. Please give her money!” said Malema, dressed in the EFF’s trademark red overalls and beret.
Earlier this week, Zille appealed for donations to the DA’s court review into the prosecuting authority’s April 2009 decision to drop more than 700 corruption charges against Zuma on the eve of elections because of possible political manipulation of bringing the charges.
This emerged in transcripts of National Intelligence Agency telephone bugs of conversations between then prosecutions boss Bulelani Ngcuka and Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy.
After a five-year court battle, the DA recently obtained these spy tapes.
Malema said no matter how many insults the ANC “howled” at the EFF, it would continue to speak out.
“Our people gave us the mandate: Go to Parliament and wake these people up; they seem to be in a permanent sleep. We did exactly that.
“Many practices in Parliament are designed to make opposition difficult… When accepting that as the opposition, we are accepting that it must be difficult to oppose the majority party. The ANC has not had an opposition since 1994. For the first time in the history of democracy it is experiencing a real opposition.”
The EFF would continue to challenge the status quo.
This included refusing to simply endorse the employment of a new permanent secretary to Parliament without the position having been advertised as happened at this week’s meeting with Speaker Baleka Mbete.
Malema said the Speaker, who is also ANC national chairwoman, could not be unbiased. She sat in all the top official meetings at Luthuli House and in the ANC NEC where it was planned “how they are going to manipulate Parliament”, he argued.
“Under the ANC, that Parliament has been reduced to a circus.”
The EFF commander-in-chief traversed the usual terrain of a state bank for access to better financial services for the working class and poor, and the nationalisation of mines, banks plus the “progressive, peaceful expropriation” of land.
“Ours is a struggle to change property ownership… Our people will never arrive at the promised land, if we do not resolve the land question, because you are nothing without the land.”
But his R16m tax debt, and criminal charges for which he’ll be back in court soon were not off the table. Branding the criminal charges a political plot, Malema insisted his tax debt is being paid off in instalments of R500 000 a month plus his R30 000 parliamentary monthly income.
Asked about his “Kill for Zuma” comment of a few years ago, before his expulsion from the ANC youth league, Malema said:
“It’s a mistake we’ve committed. We’ve apologised to South Africa for having sold them a nothing.” It was now a case of “cleaning up the mess”.