'Come clear' on campaign donations, Malema challenges Ramaphosa
25 June 2019
"Come clear" on who funded your campaign to become ANC president, EFF leader Julius Malema challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa during Tuesday's debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Malema told a joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday that there was no chance of winning the fight against corruption if the president was involved in allegations of money laundering.
"We want the president to come clear, to explain and take the country into confidence, as to who are the people who have donated money in the CR17 campaign and what do they stand to benefit," Malema said.
"We need the names, not leaked documents, Mr President. You ought to call all these trustees [of his 2017 campaign] and say to them they must give you a report of who donated money and what are the expectations of those people."
Malema said they do not intend to remove the president unless he was found to be a constitutional delinquent, in which case they would call for impeachment proceedings.
"We want you, Mr President, where a mistake was committed, to take full responsibility and announce which practical steps you are going to take in correcting those mistakes.
"Please help South Africa, by taking it into your confidence. Make sure that you lead by example."
DA leader Mmusi Maimane also broached the subject of the Bosasa payment to Ramaphosa's campaign and the resulting Public Protector's investigation.
"Mr President, you should lead by example and stop delaying and frustrating the Public Protector’s investigation in your Bosasa dealings," Maimane said.
"Let the Public Protector do her work, and once the report is finalised, appear before a parliamentary ad hoc committee, so that the matter can be dealt with in an open and transparent manner."
Maimane's 7 reforms
This was included in seven reforms proposed by Maimane "that will enable us to become the modern, inclusive country we all dream of". This elicited groans from the ANC benches.
Maimane cited Eskom, charter schools and a healthcare fix-up as key prioroties the president should address.
Eskom should immediately be split into two entities and municipalities should be allowed to buy electricity directly from independent power suppliers, he said.
He also proposed charter schools, which are schools where the private and public sectors are in partnership.
"Not only will this clip the wings of the powerful and destructive union Sadtu, it will also offer parents real choice. We can't have our children bundled into taxis and sent far from home just to receive a decent education," Maimane said.
Maimane said the government should forget about its National Health Insurance plan. He said the DA had a range of solutions "that will make quality healthcare available to all South Africans without destroying our national budget".
He also proposed that labour laws be relaxed, tax incentives for people who created jobs, and a re-look of the national minimum wage.
He said the state should extend property ownership to millions of dispossessed South Africans and devolve policing powers to provinces.
'He is a big dreamer and a big doer'
The general slant of opposition MPs' speeches was that Ramaphosa's SONA was without an action plan to create the country he envisaged and did not deal with the realities ordinary South Africans faced.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu defended Ramaphosa's speech, saying that South Africa was fortunate to have a visionary leader in Ramaphosa.
"He is a big dreamer and a big doer at the same time," Mthembu said. He said Ramaphosa had confirmed that the National Development Plan (NDP) was the "lodestar" in the creation of a South African developmental state.
"While progress was slow, particularly on the economic side, we confirm our intention to achieve our NDP targets to address the challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment and economic growth," Mthembu said.
Mthembu criticised Maimane's speech, accusing him of forgetting that parties were no longer on the election campaign trail.
He said Ramaphosa's plan "for the continued implementation of this vision was eloquently and succinctly articulated".