The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said Jacob Zuma’s resignation as head of state was a direct result of the party’s political and parliamentary work, but it will not take part in the election of Cyril Rampahosa in Parliament, as they don’t believe he holds a mandate to take up the position.
“Jacob Zuma has finally surrendered to the political pressure which the EFF was at the centre of for past three years. The ultimate fall of Zuma is the direct result of the political and parliamentary work done by the EFF,” EFF president Julius Malema said on Thursday.
He addressed journalists a day after Zuma formally resigned, and just before a fresh election of president was due in Parliament.
The EFF has repeated its calls for the dissolution of parliament, and says it will support the Democratic Alliance’s motion.
“We think that the discussion on the dissolution of Parliament starts today,” Malema said.
He said the EFF will be present in the house when the election of a president takes place, but the party has other intentions.
“There shouldn’t be an election of the president, there must be a discussion on the dissolution … If anyone wants to be president of SA, let’s go to the election. Let’s get a fresh mandate. The 5th Parliament is guilty the same way Zuma is guilty because the court found we did not discharge our constitutional responsibility,” Malema added.
The EFF has lashed out at the imminent election of Ramaphosa as president in Parliament, saying the ANC has no right to become president.
“We are not going to legitimise another faction of the ANC in an illegitimate process. Cyril Ramaphosa doesn’t qualify to be president. I think I qualify to be president, but let me go be cleaned by the masses through a vote,” Malema said.
But the EFF will recognise Ramaphosa as the legitimately elected president of the country, Malema said, explaining that the ANC is the legitimate representative of the people.
“If we are told Cyril is the president, we will accept that. But he must know that he is presiding over the country elected by an illegitimate Parliament.”
The EFF thanked the women within its ranks who were abused by security when the party was forcefully removed from the National Assembly in the past three state of the nation addresses for continuously opposing Zuma.
He also thanked Mail & Guardian journalist Mandy Rossouw who first exposed the security upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, and former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, whose career Malema said Zuma relegated to his home village in KwaZulu-Natal because of factional battles.