EFF leaders, led by Julius Malema, briefing media in Johannesburg on Thursday. PHOTO

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Malema says ANC has no credible candidate to lead Tshwane

JOHANNESBURG, August 23  – Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said on Thursday there was no credible candidate from the ANC that could run Tshwane if the ruling party’s motion of no confidence against the capital’s Democratic Alliance mayor Solly Msimang were to succeed.

He said his party would abstain and not vote should the ANC and the DA fail to field a better candidate.

”I doubt the ANC has a credible candidate in Tshwane, I doubt that, they will have to work very hard. In fact, in our engagements with some of the leaders of the ANC [following the 2016 local elections], when they were pleading [to lead] Johannesburg, they said to us and pleaded not to make that mistake of giving them [ANC] Tshwane…actually they were saying they are prepared to take Johannesburg and give the EFF Tshwane  because they looked among their people and cannot find anyone,” he told reporters at a briefing in Johannesburg.

The ANC on Thursday announced its intention to oust Msimang through a motion. This comes a day after the city moved to suspend city manager Moeketsi Mosola over a multi-billion rand GladAfrica tender row. The council gave Mosola seven days to explain why he should not be suspended over allegations against him and other top officials of tender irregularities.

Malema accused Msimang of ”inconsistency” regarding Mosola and the tender allegations.

”Msimang sat next to the city manager and announced that there was nothing wrong [regarding the tender], now it seems there is something wrong…they must both take responsibility. Msimang should not use the city manager as a scapegoat. The city manager brought this matter to his attention a long time ago, now Msimang acts as if he has only seen this in the newspapers… he appointed Marietta [Aucump] without qualifications, when you touch them, the white DA caucus gets angry and puts pressure on Msimang.”

He said townships in Tshwane were ”a mess” under Msimang with no service delivery unlike the city’s wealthy suburbs. Msimang is unable to deal with the DA white caucus in the city, unlike City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, he added.

”Mashaba confronts them directly, he is not scared of them. Msimang wants their support as he wants to become premier [of Gauteng]…so he is tiptoeing around them, and a as result, allowed them to destroy him. Marietta was imposed on him by the white caucus, why? Because he had to have a white supervisor.”

Malema further announced that the EFF have also tabled a motion of no confidence against Msimang, and would wait for the DA and the ANC to forward names of ”credible candidates”.

”If the two parties do not bring anyone credible, we will abstain from voting, that is another democratic right we have. We will not vote for anyone… the one with high votes will win without our vote. We do not want to be seen to be perpetuating white supremacy and arrogance in Tshwane. We have put our own motion of no confidence in Msimang ourselves and we hope that other political parties will support us.”

Malema  called on US President Donald Trump to stay out of South African domestic affairs after Trump’s controversial tweet on land expropriation without compensation.

Malema was responding to US President Donald Trump’s tweet criticising the South African government’s land reform plan.

In the offending tweet Trump said: “I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers. South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.”

”We want to send a strong message to the US authorities, just like we did with the Australian government – stay out of South Africa’s domestic affairs. South Africa is a post-colonial country seized with deep inequalities long designed by apartheid and colonialism. Land expropriation seeks to realise equality and human dignity…through land expropriation, we are forcing the whites to share the land which was gained through a crime against humanity,” Malema told reporters Johannesburg.

”Donald, we are not scared of you and your USA and western imperialist forces. We are not the generation that is going to kneel at the statue of western imperialism and accept to live in the indignity of landless blacks.”

The SA government has slammed Trump’s tweet based from a Fox News report that the SA government has amended the Constitution and is seizing land from white farmers. The Department of International Relations said the tweet was factually incorrect and would raise the matter with the US embassy in Pretoria and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane echoed the same sentiments in a post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday, adding, however, that she does not believe that the tweet has affected relations between the two countries.

Malema then lashed out at President Cyril Ramaphosa and ”his group” in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners, saying that Trump was adding to an ongoing international debate against South Africa’s land reform plans. He said Ramaphosa and his supporters in the SA Communist Party (SACP) do not believe in land reform and the expropriation of land without compensation, the same as the Afrikaner rights lobby group Afriforum.

”Our suspicion is that the DA (Democratic Alliance) and Cyril and his group in the ANC are involved in this thing…they do not believe in land expropriation, so they want to use these types of threats to get out of this issue…we can’t be fooled here, we are not children.

”Gwede [Matashe], Pravin Gordhan, the SACP do not believe in land expropriation…so Cyril’s group hold the same view with Afriforum. The good thing with Afriforum is that they are doing it in broad daylight, they’re not hiding…Cyril’s group and the DA have gone all out to lobby for international support so that a conflict develops out of this issue…my view is that Donald Trump is contributing to this ongoing debate, and he is not saying anything we have not heard from white people during public debates on constitutional amendment.” (ANA)

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