Sona debate: Malema apologises for helping bring Zuma to power

Fiery Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Tuesday apologised to former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela for helping to bring President Jacob Zuma to power, before he led a walkout of his MPs from the National Assembly.

Participating in the debate on Zuma’s State of the Nation address, Malema acknowledged that he had “led the charge for the removal of President Mbeki” and admitted this was a mistake.

“We were misled by this man,” Malema said, referring to Zuma, who had allegedly told him he was not prepared to work with Mbeki.

In his speech, Malema also called Zuma an “illegitimate” president, and listed some of his grievances.

These included sleeping with “with an HIV-positive woman” and saying a shower would cure it. 

“This is a man who knowingly impregnated a friend’s child, knowing he had other wives at home. This is another sign of your misjudgments,” Malema said.

“My Zupta, your leadership can be summed up into three things – the Guptas, Nkandla and Umshini Wami,” Malema said before walking out of the National Assembly. He was followed by his entire caucus.

Malema was referring to Zuma’s friendship with the influential and reportedly politically well-connected Gupta family, the president’s controversial Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Zuma’s signature song Awuleth’ Umshini Wami (Bring me my machine gun).

‘Exit with dignity’

Shortly after Malema’s address, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa addressed the National Assembly and urged President Jacob Zuma to affect a smooth, dignified departure from power.

“Give us a mandate, Msholozi, to handle your exit with dignity,” Holomisa said.

He said his call was motivated by the damage the Nkandla scandal had caused to trust in his office and to many other state institutions. 

It followed similar pleas from the EFF, the Democratic Alliance and the National Freedom Party for Zuma to leave office. 

They argued that the speech was conclusive proof that Zuma was a president out of touch with reality who placed his own interests above those of the country. – African News Agency (ANA) and News24


Aggett tormentor had a ‘morbid’ obsession — Barbara Hogan

The former minister told the inquest into the trade unionist Neil Aggett’s death that security branch interrogator Stephan Whitehead was voyeuristic

ANC and the state step back from taking action against...

Despite alleged abuses of power and people’s trust, the ANC appears to have abandoned plans to reform the controversial Ingonyama Trust Board

Press Releases

UKZN scientists make the grade

Dr Veron Ramsuran and Dr Lenine Liebenberg have been named in the African Academy of Science's top 40 list.

Wellcome Trust award goes to UKZN mental health champion

Dr Andr? J van Rensburg, a senior researcher in UKZN's Centre for Rural Health, received the Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award.

MTN gears up to deliver improved customer service

On 28 January, the first batch of MTN contract customers will be migrated onto the new customer service platform.

Request for expression of interest on analysis of quality and outcome indicators for regional and district hospitals in Lesotho

Introduction The Ministry of Health of Lesotho with the support of the World Bank funded Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening...

MiX Telematics enhances in-vehicle video camera solution

The company has launched the gold MiX Vision Bureau Service, which includes driver-coaching tools to ensure risky driver behaviour can be addressed proactively and efficiently.

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity