CAPE TOWN, February 13 – “President Cyril Ramaphosa should know that this is going to be our relationship from now going forward,” Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said after his party left the National Assembly ahead of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday.
Malema, together with his fellow members, requested that former South African president FW De Klerk leave the National Assembly where President Cyril Ramaphosa was set to address the nation.
Addressing the media, Malema said: “Today we went inside Parliament to raise concern with Parliament. The first concern we had was why did Parliament proceed to invite De Klerk after he said apartheid was not crime against humanity.
“It was after we thought that De Klerk bought into the agenda of forgiveness and reconciliation.
He referred to De Klerk as an “unrepentant apartheid apologist” who doesn’t regret those murder cases that were committed under his leadership.
“This is a democratic Parliament, we cannot sit in the same Parliament with an apartheid apologist who does not accept that apartheid was dangerous and was crime against humanity,” Malema said.
This followed after 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 had called De Klerk a “murderer” and “man with blood on his hands”.
The second issue, he said, was that Ramaphosa must fire Pravin and stated that Parliament could not proceed as if things were normal. He said the country could not have a normal State of the Nation although things were not normal, pointing out collapsing public enterprises.
The Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has come under fire for failing Eskom and SAA.
“Things are not normal, and therefore, you can’t have a normal state of the nation address, it is necessary for the state of the nation address to reflect what is really happening in our country. We can’t sit under the same roof with Pravin, we can’t sit under the same roof with De Klerk,” Malema said.
Referring to Ramaphosa, Malema said: “Anyone who does not want to hold ministers accountable and who doesn’t want to be held accountable will never receive the respect of the EFF.
“This is an activist Parliament, a Parliament where all types of issues including uncomfortable issues must be raised irrespective of what is the occasion. If you want a normal occasion, then normalise South Africa,” Malema said.
– African News Agency (ANA)