ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu was "intoxicated-inspired" when he criticised expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Thursday.
"The drunkard went to the extent of calling president Julius Malema a 'menace and a monster' in a very childish and intoxicated-inspired fashion," the EFF said in a statement.
Mthembu had criticised Malema in an interview with eNews on Wednesday. "Can you imagine Julius Malema becoming president of the country? Oh, dear God, may that day never dawn in our lifetime, or that of our children," Mthembu reportedly said.
The EFF accused Mthembu of criticising Malema to hide a conspiracy against the expelled youth leader, led by President Jacob Zuma. "The drunkard was weakly trying to deny the reality that Mr Jacob Zuma is behind attempts of the state to arrest and detain president Julius Malema as a way of suppressing political dissent," the organisation said.
Mthembu was arrested for drunken driving in Cape Town in 2010. He admitted guilt in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court where he was issued a R12 000 fine.
The fighters said it had it "on good authority" that the government was working to prevent Malema from interacting with workers and soldiers. They also claimed the recent deployment of the military to Marikana was a direct response to the "Malema threat".
The EFF said Mthembu had also called Malema a "monster and menace".
"If there are people who are monsters and menaces in South Africa it is those who abuse alcohol and drugs, and Jackson Mthembu is not only one of them, but produces more from his home and cannot even manage to keep them there," it said.
Mthembu had also reportedly said Malema should never have been an ANC member because he was a bad person. Malema should stop lobbying opinion on whether President Jacob Zuma should be nominated as ANC leader, Mthembu said.
"He's not even a member of the ANC. He can't nominate anybody. People join the ANC voluntarily, but then they're required to maintain certain values, and Julius couldn't do it."
Mthembu also warned any ANC leaders who might be contemplating support of Malema, who faces charges of money-laundering. "He's too factious … he thinks he's everything. He might support a leader now, but he'll do a complete about-face within three years," he said. – Sapa