While the EFF leader appeared respectful towards the ANC leader at Mama Winnie’s funeral this weekend, his true views appear to be different.
A clip of EFF leader Julius Malema comparing former president Jacob Zuma to his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been doing the rounds since Malema gave a speech in which he touched on the two men on March 28.
Malema was in Nelson Mandela Bay ahead of his party’s motion of no confidence against mayor Athol Trollip – a motion that ultimately failed.
In his speech, Malema alleged that the rumours circulating in the ANC that President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering holding early elections were true.
Hitting out at the ANC, he said that the euphoria around Ramaphosa’s rise, however, was misplaced.
“We have exposed the ‘new dawn’ as an ‘old dawn’ … not even in a new bottle of Dawn lotion, it’s actually in an old Dawn bottle. There is nothing new about Cyril Ramaphosa; there’s nothing new about the ANC.”
He alleged Ramaphosa was seriously considering bringing elections earlier to capitalise on his apparent current popularity. But Malema said that those who had advised Ramaphosa to consider this strategy were misguiding him, as he is not nearly as popular as he thinks.
“But he can bring them [early elections]. We are ready.”
However, many analysts have said that the ANC’s loss of support in major metros in 2016 was due to the scandals that surrounded Zuma. The ANC continues to be concerned that it will not get an outright majority in 2019.
Malema appears to be correct though, that Zuma remains popular in KwaZulu-Natal, where he is cheered at every turn and continues to be hailed as a hero.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga told The Citizen last week that the ruling party may have underestimated just how much they may need Zuma in his home province come election time.
His appearance at the High Court in Durban earlier this month to face corruption charges solidified a picture of little unity within the ANC. The former president proved he still has widespread support in his home province, which has resulted in much speculation, with reports of a possible mutiny in the ANC. Mathekga said that should the KZN vote poorly for the ANC next year, the party could be in trouble.
“If you perform severely poorly in KZN, it will affect your national tally when it comes to how you perform [in the elections]. ANC members should be very careful. They should be running with fire extinguishers in trying to deal with this matter,” he said.
In the clip, Malema calls Zuma “the most charming, charismatic man … a good singer, loved by women” and says Ramaphosa doesn’t get the same kind of love from any particular quarter, though the “white minority” and “white-owned media creates the impression that Ramaphosa is popular”.
“I want you to look at two YouTubes [sic] video of Ramaphosa walking in Soweto and Zuma walking in Natal at a mall. Look at those pictures. Zuma can’t move. The people are all over him, and then Ramaphosa moves freely. Even invites people: ‘Woza, woza.’”
He explained that they couldn’t be scared or intimidated by Ramaphosa or his apparent rise in popularity, when they’d never been scared of Zuma.
“And then we must be scare of ‘Woza, woza, come to me’?
“A leader must not call people! A leader must be a magnet! The people must go to a leader! There’s no leadership in Ramaphosa! Nothing!
“He’s got no charisma, no theory; he’s got nothing to offer! He only has money. We’re not sure because we have not seen the bank balance, [but] that’s what the white media tells us.”
He said Ramaphosa wasn’t a buffalo, even though he looked like one, but was actually weak. “He’s got no strength of a Buffalo. Maybe strength of sardines, or something like that.”
The fact that he had a secretary-general, Ace Magashule, who could “contradict him at every turn” was presented, among other things, as evidence of Ramaphosa’s weakness.