President Cyril Ramaphosa’s enemies within the ANC might have been smiling as Julius Malema offered them the free ammunition they desperately needed to dethrone the president over his alleged failure to implement key ANC resolutions.
Though leader of the country’s second-biggest opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Malema spoke like an ANC cadre as he trashed Ramaphosa.
He bemoaned Ramaphosa’s “ignorance” and “disrespecting” of the ANC resolutions taken at the party’s national conference in December 2017, to put the Reserve Bank under state control and to implement land expropriation without compensation.
Malema, debating Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address in the National Assembly yesterday, lectured Ramaphosa about the ANC resolutions that were binding.
He claimed the president’s failure to implement the Reserve Bank nationalisation and land expropriation was, in fact, contempt for the ANC’s decision.
The ANC conference is the highest decision-making structure of the party and, traditionally, resolutions made there should be implemented.
“I urge you to recall that the conference resolutions are binding. Even Mandela with the famous and world-celebrated stature still recognised … that the resolutions are a mandate from the masses and they must be implemented,” Malema said.
As then ANC Youth League leaders, they were taught by former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe that they must respect their own decisions or risked rendering the collective structure that took the resolution irrelevant, Malema said.
The EFF leader also said former SACP general secretary Chris Hani accepted an ANC leadership decision to abandon the armed struggle, although he was initially vehemently opposed to the idea.
Reading directly from the ANC resolutions, Malema said the conference resolved that it was an anomaly that there were private shareholders on the Reserve Bank and therefore took a decision that the bank should be 100% owned by the state.
He accused Ramaphosa of avoiding nationalising the bank and implement the land expropriation policy because he, personally, did not agree with them.
According to Malema, Ramaphosa last year promised to implement both those resolutions but had since backtracked.
“But let us warn you if you do not respect the resolutions of your own conference, imagine what message you are sending to those who did not want you to be the president … You’re saying to them that the decisions on the outcome of you being elected as president is not binding since all other decisions taken in the same conference are not binding,” Malema said.
- In his debate input, Democratic Alliance Leader Mmusi Maimane announced his party’s ambitious plan to introduce what he called a charter schools system – a private-public partnership with high-quality education derived from private education at community level. The system would ensure that the government stood up to trade unions so that teachers were able to provide quality teaching. Maimane said giving free tablets to school children was not the Fourth Industrial Revolution but a Third Industrial Revolution model that was outdated. The country needed to move with the times, decide what it would do around climate change, technology and disease management. “The overwhelming majority of jobs are not going to come from manufacturing or mining, they will come from fields such as data-mining, design coding and a host of other technology driven micro enterprises. We should prepare our kids for jobs that currently do not exist,” he said.
- Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said the government must curb the power of the trade unions if it was to function properly. He said the president was concerned that white people, especially youth, were leaving the country but failed to find out why. They emigrated because of crime in the country, he claimed.
- African Transformation Movement’s Vuyolwethu Zungula, accused Ramaphosa of pursuing an individual dream when he has actually voted for his new dawn. “All he dreams of now are what matters to the rich and affluent. High-speed trains and smart cities not even built by South Africans but the Chinese,” Zungula said.
Eric Naki / The Citizen