SONA: Transcript of Julius Malema's speech

EFF leader once again apologises to former President Thabo Mbeki for helping remove him from office (16 February 2016)

Speech by Julius Malema in the debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, Parliament, 16 February 2016

Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Speaker, we thank you for the opportunity to speak to South Africans, Africans, and the world about the issues confronting our people. We shall make it very clear that we do not want to debate the state of the nation which was presented here by an illegitimate President. [Interjections.]

We refuse to legitimise the morally and politically compromised President of the ANC. We did not recognise him, due to his incapacity, lack of direction, association with criminal elements, unaccountability and pure disregard for the Constitution and the people of South Africa.

We are here to speak about a country where more than 26 million of its population live in absolute poverty and suffering. We are here to speak about a country where more than 8 million of its capable work force cannot find jobs because the state under its current leadership cannot provide jobs.

We are here to speak about the many capable children who do not have access to quality and free education because the state cannot provide free, quality education for all. However, we are comforted by the militant structures, like the Fees must fall movement, Rhodes must fall movement and the EFF Student Command because they are keeping the dream of decolonisation and free education alive. [Applause.]

We must not forget that we are in a country where the black majority – more than 80% of the population – is congested and squeezed into less than 20% of the land because the rest of the land is owned and controlled by those who colonially took it from the African majority through committing black genocide. We must not forget that we are in a country where settler colonialists and white monopoly capital is in control of almost all sectors of the economy. The white minority own and control every section of the economy, including the maize meal which feeds the majority of our people, because the former liberation movement betrayed its founding principles. [Interjections.]

We must not forget that we are in a country where the African majority continue to be slaves and suppliers of cheap labour to the white minority as cleaners, garden boys, domestic workers, car guards, petrol attendants, security guards, rock drill operators, and everything that pays low wages. The ANC has destroyed the nursing, teaching and police professions by paying those workers peanuts.

Our people are hungry for land. Land hunger is a reality. Our people are misled into celebrating the so-called middle class and the black executives who are nothing but credit-worthy and indebted blacks who do not own and do not control anything.

We are here to ask the whole of South Africa to listen to the voices of the struggling masses of our people in the informal settlements, like Thembelihle, Stjwetla, Winnie Mandela squatter camp, Chris Hani squatter camp, Joe Slovo squatter camp, Diepsloot, Alexandra, Marikana, and all the dejected and neglected areas where poor black people live.

Fellow South Africans, the majority of our people in townships live in a state of indignity and congestion. They live like pigs when they are alive and even when they are dead. The majority in eThekwini, Sebokeng, Hammanskraal, Soshanguve, Umlazi, KwaMashu, Mdantsane, and many areas, are still forced to share a small piece of land when they are alive. Even in death, they are still forced to share graves, where more than two people are buried in one grave. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

My brothers and sisters, let’s show solidarity with rock drill operators, mineworkers, metalworkers, ironworkers, workers of Shoprite and all the retail stores who are underpaid and some employed through labour brokers. Twenty-two years after so-called democracy, less than 10% of the land has been redistributed. We want to reveal the obvious fact that, if it takes 22 years to redistribute 10% of the land, it will take the ANC 100 years to redistribute at least 50% of the land.

Our economy is just a consuming economy. We are unable to manufacture and produce even basic consumer goods and services, such as phones, televisions, cars, many food items, teaspoons, matchsticks, toothpicks and clothes. What kind of self-respecting country fails to produce food for itself, despite the availability of arable land? More than 10 million workers who wake up every day to sell their labour do not get any living wage and do not qualify for houses, cars, clothes and education for their children. Many black South Africans die because they cannot afford medication. We speak of these realities because the so-called President of South Africa never pointed to those realities.


Mr J S MALEMA: We are aware that during your so-called state of the nation address, you did mention the relocation of Parliament to one city. We welcome that move because the fact that South Africa has separate capital and administrative cities is as a result of colonial compromises and the settlement of the Anglo-Boer War. While many Africans died in that war, they were not part of the ultimate political settlement in the early 1900s.

More than money, it is politically correct for South Africa to have one capital city to affirm its own identity as a post-colonial, political territory, not unworkable capital cities that waste the resources of our people.

We want to make it clear to the hon Thabang Makwetla that we will never sing Die Stem. [Applause.] Die Stem is another compromise, which is not justifiable. No ruling, and neither a court, nor prison can force us to sing a song of the apartheid murderers.


Mr J S MALEMA: On 11 February 2016, we decidedly and courageously refused to be addressed by an illegitimate and morally compromised human being who happens to be President of the ruling party and our country.

In our previous life, we uncritically accepted so many lies, fictions and conspiracy theories created about you, Mr Zuma, and our fear of a third term also misled us. The signs were there, however. Your questionable political life and the events that led you to become President were signs, indeed, that we should have opened up to those signs.

All those signs were clear that you are not capable of being a President. [Interjections.] This is the man who knowingly had sex with an HIV-positive woman and later explained to the court that a shower would lessen the chances of contracting HIV. [Interjections.] We are now the laughing stock of the world. This was another sign shown to us that you are incapable of becoming a President, but we ignored that.

This is the man who knowingly impregnated a friend’s child, despite his having many wives at home. This was another sign that you are bad with judgment. [Interjections.]

This is the man who did not take any decisive action when the Gupta family landed their plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. Actually, instead of taking action, this is the same man who embraces the same family and attends all their events, despite the fact that those people compromised the security of this country.

This is the same man ... [Interjections.] ... wait a bit! [Laughter.] [Applause.] I was going to say “Cheers!” but, hey, I remembered you are the wrong man. This is the same man who appoints Ministers with close relationships with Gupta’s family - and those Ministers immediately start negotiating business deals for the Guptas and his son. [Interjections.] I am speaking from experience!

In my previous life, when I was a friend of the Minister of Sport and Recreation, he received a call from the Guptas. [Interjections.] He was still the Deputy Minister of Police, and they told him that he was going to be the Minister of Sport and Recreation. That was during the time he still had courage. He went to the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the ANC and raised this matter. He was so angry and he even cried about it ... [Laughter.] [Applause.] ... asking why we were being appointed by unelected leaders into positions of responsibility. I hope, one day, my former friend will find himself and continue to fight this just cause.

This is the man who, in December, exchanged Ministers of Finance in South Africa, gave misleading and wrong reasons and accelerated our country’s currency into junk status. This led to the loss of more than R500 billion. The crisis caused by mindless and unexplained changes in National Treasury are not some elite or palace battles. It is critical in that it has got a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary South Africans.

When South Africa’s currency is weak, it will become more expensive for South Africans to buy basic consumer goods and services from other parts of the world. As we speak now, in the context of drought, South Africa has to import more than 6 million tons of maize meal, which is the staple food for more than 80% of South Africans. A weak currency will mean that everything we import from other parts of the world will be expensive and unaffordable for many families. All this, because of one man!

Our country is being relegated to a junk country because of the action and decisions of one man. This one man called a President is responsible for many ills affecting our country and he blames all of this on the global economy. There are challenges in the global economy but Mr Zuma is responsible for the many ills confronting our country.

Alongside Mr Zuma’s unforgiveable blunders are Ministers and Premiers who learn from the best and replicate the same form of corruption and unaccountability in the department and provinces. The Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, is the most corrupt Premier in South Africa. He is not accountable to anyone. The man is untouchable.

The Premier of Mpumalanga province is the most corrupt Premier in South Africa who plays a part in the disappearance of his opponents in his province and loots as he wishes. The Premier of the North West is also corrupt. He plays a part in the disappearance of opponents in his province and is not being held accountable. These, and many others engage in these activities with the knowledge and endorsement of one man, who we are all expected to treat with respect.

Alongside these ills caused by him is a family who are business partners of his son and business partners of his political subjects - the Gupta family. The Gupta family’s influence and capture of the South African state and government is not fiction, and the reasons we have provided are just the tip of the iceberg. The Guptas are party to the institutionalisation of mediocrity here, in South Africa, and this is shown by the mediocre media houses and other businesses that are parasitic on the state.

South Africa, we stand here, bound and obliged by constitutional and moral obligations and call for the immediate removal of Mr Zuma as the President of the Republic of South Africa.

HON MEMBERS: Yes! [Applause.]

Mr J S MALEMA: Mr Zuma has caused so much damage and he is in the process of causing more damage. Under his watch, a huge amount of money from the police slush fund disappeared, and that was the money meant to fight crime. Under his watch, money keeps on disappearing in the State Security Agency. We cannot stand back and do nothing when one individual is accelerating South Africa into further decay.

The man is accepted to have breached his oath of office and the Constitution. The reality is that, in no time, and under Mr Zuma’s watch and supervision, we will be left with no country and no systems with which to hold our people accountable.

We are here today to, once again, apologise to former President Mbeki for being part of those who removed him on the basis of lies, rumours, gossip spread by the sitting President. In his letter, President Mbeki stated, “I did not tell who was misleading us.” We were misled by this man – the President of the Republic of South Africa! [Applause.]

I remember, I had a meeting with President Zuma ...

Mr H P CHAUKE: Madam Speaker ...

Mr J S MALEMA: ... after the Nicholson judgment ...

Mr H P CHAUKE: Madam Speaker ...

Mr J S MALEMA: ... where President Zuma said to me ... [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Order!

Mr J S MALEMA: ... he doesn’t want to work with President Mbeki.

The SPEAKER: Order, hon Malema! Please take your seat. [Interjections.] Yes, hon member, on what point are you rising?

Mr H P CHAUKE: Hon Speaker, on a point of order: I would request that you ask the gallery there to stop participating in our debates. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Indeed, we always repeat this - and have, on numerous occasions in the past - that we ask and appeal to our guests in the gallery please not to participate in the proceedings of the House by clapping their hands ... [Interjections.] ... or in any other way participating in the proceedings because we want to welcome you all to be part of this joint sitting only by sitting and observing in an orderly fashion. Thank you very much. Proceed, hon Malema.

Mr J S MALEMA: I led the charge on the removal of President Mbeki after the meeting I had with President Zuma, during which he made it very clear to me that he was not prepared to work with President Mbeki. This is despite the fact that the former President of the Youth League, Mbalula, called me from the mountain and encouraged me not to participate in that activity of removing Mbeki because it would cause a problem. [Interjections.] That is why I know that Mbalula has got the capacity to see wrong things. He just needs to come around. [Interjections.] [Applause.] Had we listened to him, we would not be in this state. For those who do not know, Mbalula discouraged us from calling for the removal of President Mbeki.

We apologise to President Mandela for allowing Mr Zuma to ruin his legacy and turning South Africa into a junk country. We never and will never agree with the economic policies pursued by both President Mbeki and President Mandela. However, at least they knew what they stood for – unlike him, who stands for nothing ... [Interjections.] ... and who always gets persuaded by the Guptas to take the wrong decisions; a man who prioritises himself and his family.

If all of you doubt that, then you must refer to the presentation that was made in the Constitutional Court where all of you were dumbed by the President. This is a man who can single-handedly destroy what used to be the movement of the people. A man who, when he says, “I will not pay”, the whole movement says, “He must not pay”. A man who, when he says, “Now, I will pay”, the whole movement says, “He will now pay”.

Think, comrades! You are participating in destroying the organisation of Chris Hani, Luthuli and O R Tambo, an organisation that never believed in the politics of a personality cult. You are more Zuma members than being members of the ANC! [Interjections.] [Applause.] You need to discover yourself.

To all South Africans, our message is clear and simple. Freedom is coming. The EFF is the last hope for jobs and service delivery. [Interjections.] We are the last hope for massive industrialisation development to create millions of jobs. We are the last hope for free, quality education for all. We are the last hope for quality health care, sanitation and better services. We are the last hope for the war against corruption.

The EFF is the last hope for the people of Stjwetla, Mdantsane, Umlazi, Soweto, Mahwelereng, Bushbuckridge, Orange Farm, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Mthatha, and all areas where there are no jobs and basic services for our people. The EFF is the last hope for the workers of Toyota in KwaZulu-Natal, of all metalworkers in Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and Tshwane. We are the hope of all mineworkers in Marikana, on the entire platinum belt, in Kuruman, Kimberley, the trapped workers of Lily Mine, and all the areas where workers face brutal exploitation.

Mr Zupta, your legacy can be summed up into three things: Umshini Wami, Nkandla, Guptas. [Applause.] I am leaving. I can’t sit here to debate what you presented here because you are not a legitimate President. Bye bye! [Interjections.] [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, as you leave, I want you to know that, as you know, what you did was wrong. [Interjections.] You should have done it in the form of a substantive motion. [Interjections.] You did it, knowingly. It was wrong, and it shall be expunged from the Hansard. [Interjections.] 

Source: Unrevised transcript, Hansard