Corruption has become worse under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration, according to EFF leader Julius Malema.
In a wide-ranging speech to commemorate the EFF’s seventh anniversary on Sunday, Malema criticised the government’s response to Covid-19 and the looting of relief funds while bragging about his party’s achievements since it came into being.
“Corruption under the new dawn of Ramaphosa has become worse and this time, during a time in which humanity is fighting an invisible enemy, all those who were doing the PR for Ramaphosa have suddenly gone into hiding, while he and his comrades steal money as if there is no tomorrow,” said Malema.
He said the looting was worse in the Eastern Cape where R4.8m was spent on a door-to-door awareness campaign and R10m on scooter ambulances which do not meet the criteria for transporting patients.
Malema said it was hypocritical for Ramaphosa when he addresses the nation to reprimand South Africans who are not adhering to lockdown regulations during so-called “family meetings”, while not reflecting on and taking responsibility for the failure of his decisions.
He also took an issue with Ramaphosa convening the nation to condemn corruption “instead of convening those he leads with who are at the forefront of stealing Covid-19 money and creating dodgy companies to get tenders”.
During Thursday’s address to the nation, Ramaphosa expressed his concern about the stealing and misuse of funds meant to provide relief during the pandemic, the overpricing of goods, diversion of food parcels from needy households and the general corruption and mismanagement of public funds.
“We told Ramaphosa to act harshly on his public representatives who have a tendency of corruption in a time of human crisis. He chose to ignore us,” Malema said.
“Today, catering tenders are being awarded for virtual meetings in ANC municipalities.”
Malema criticised the government for lifting the ban on the sale of alcohol for a few weeks before reinstating it two weeks ago. He said this had resulted in a spike in the number of patients in emergency rooms.
The easing of other lockdown regulations was also a problem according to Malema, saying Covid-19 cases had increased sharply and deaths had followed as a result of “homicidal decisions” to open mines, businesses, restaurants, casinos and schools.
Contacted by TimesLIVE, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said they did not wish to comment on Malema’s remarks.
Throughout his almost two-hour address, Malema spoke about how the EFF would do things differently.
“The reality is the liberation movement no longer has the imagination or capacity to lead SA, it has become the desk of white monopoly capital that appoints different managers every five years to manage the affairs of the rich at the expense of the poor.
“The former liberation movement no longer has any coherent programme of action to change the conditions of our people and have sold their duties of governing this country to the highest bidder,” said Malema of the governing ANC.
He said those who are in government constitute factions in order to fight for their turn to eat and disregard the lives of the people.
“Over the past seven years, the EFF has bravely called out the mediocrity that SA has been subjected to,” he claimed, listing a number of proposals his party has made in the three spheres of government where it has representatives.
Malema also revealed that the EFF was planning to table a private member’s bill to parliament proposing the postponement of next year’s municipal elections to 2024.
He said it was evident that if these elections went ahead as planned, they would not be free, fair, transparent and democratic because political parties which would have by now started with their election programmes and canvassing for votes, have not been able to do so due to Covid-19.
Malema reiterated that they would like the municipal elections to be held at the same time as the provincial and national elections from 2024 going forward.