The current wave of violence by South African miners is the product of a war between President Jacob Zuma and expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema, DA spokesperson Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.
"It is pretty obvious that there is now open warfare between President Zuma and Julius Malema. It's all about power, it's all about their egos and South Africans are caught in the middle," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Democratic Alliance's Free State provincial congress.
"What is particularly disconcerting, is that Julius and his backers are willing to put the stability of the country and its economy at risk simply to score political points for [the ANC conference in] Mangaung."
He said Zuma should blame himself for the behaviour of Malema.
"By not delivering on his promises, by not showing decisive leadership, by dodging accountability and by taking the country in the wrong direction President Zuma has created a vacuum for Julius Malema and his backers to cause havoc," Maimane said.
Pursuit of power
"They are willing to sacrifice years of economic progress in their own pursuit of power. What power does Julius Malema have to change people's lives? What influence does he have? What office does he hold? None.
"He is a powerless, unemployed young man with no power to help anyone. And yet he jets around the country, and stokes up fear and resentment everywhere he goes. And somehow the media thinks it should report on every word from his mouth," he said.
DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said at the conference that Zuma was the creator of the "monster" that was Malema.
"Be in no doubt, the deployment of Malema at [last ANC conference in] Polokwane five-years-ago was no accident. When the President's allies allowed Malema to roam the country stirring up division and chaos, they unleashed a Frankenstein monster," she said.
"Their problem is that the Frankenstein monster now wants to devour them. A party will always be judged by the leaders it produces." – Sapa