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Julius Malema a populist, not consistent, hard to take seriously, says analyst

Leader of the EFF Julius Malema on the podium during the SONA 22 debate at the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Leader of the EFF Julius Malema on the podium during the SONA 22 debate at the Cape Town City Hall. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 16, 2022

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Pretoria - EFF leader Julius Malema is prone to popularism and at times cannot be taken seriously, political analyst Professor Lesiba Tefu has said.

During the first day of the State of the Nation Address debate on Monday, Malema had said President Cyril Ramaphosa was the worst head of state South Africa had ever had.

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Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, Tefu asked: “What premium do we put on Malema’s statement?

“Once upon a time it was former president Thabo Mbeki who was the worst, then followed another assertion that former president Jacob Zuma was the worst. Now it’s Ramaphosa who is the worst.”

Tefu said Malema once called Mbeki the best on the continent.

“These are rants of a populist. He is prone to popularism. So can you take a person like that seriously? Don’t get me wrong, Malema does make good statements at times,” Tefu added.

Cosatu spokesperson Zizwe Pamla refused to comment on the matter, saying it was just politics.

He said: “We are not interested in that (Malema’s statement). These are just politics… and they are just playing for cameras.”

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SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo also refused to comment, saying they had their own views of Ramaphosa’s address.

He said: “We don’t base our views on other people’s views. Our views are not secondary.”

During the debate at the Cape Town City Hall, Malema said: “You are the worst president ever… you are the worst ever to black people getting poorer under your leadership. More than 1.7 million people previously employed are losing jobs, and the majority, if not all of these jobs, were lost in the private sector.”

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Malema also accused Ramaphosa of “abandoning” his friends to share the wealth with white monopoly capital.

“All those black business people who donated money to your CR17 campaign are now saying a different story because you have abandoned them to partner with the white monopoly capital,” said Malema.

Independent Media reported on Monday that Cosatu and the SACP slammed Ramaphosa for his assertions that the government did not create jobs.

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Meanwhile, DA leader John Steenhuisen said his party created an environment for the private sector to create jobs. He said it was clear the president would rather be seen as weak than splitting the ANC, and therefore they’d do the dirty work of firing his Cabinet.

Steenhuisen accused Ramaphosa of using the DA’s playbook for his address.

FF Plus leader Petrus Groenewald said that in 2018 Ramaphosa had said he would create jobs, but now said the private sector should create jobs.

IFP MP Narend Singh said Ramaphosa had failed dismally during the July unrest.

Acting Presidency spokesperson Tyron Seale said: “The government is committed to working with all sectors, including the private sector.”

Pretoria News

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