Julius Malema, along with his political party – the Economic
Freedom Fighters (EFF) – has rejected the latest Cabinet of President Cyril
The long-awaited Cabinet announcement – preceded by angst
and wild conjecture – was officially
sanctioned by Ramaphosa on Wednesday night. The establishment of the president’s
ministerial Cabinet has been met with mixed reactions for a number of different
Ramaphosa’s Cabinet: Progressive or problematic?
Whether it’s the personal appointment of controversial
politicians or the minimal progression towards a lighter, less-expensive
Cabinet – opposition parties and the public alike have been critical of
Ramaphosa’s ostensibly spurious promises.
Malema, who showed particular interest in the Cabinet
announcement – chiefly due to his ongoing conflict with Pravin Gordhan and the damning
Public Protector report which, in the end, failed to hamper ministerial
deployment – has been particularly scathing on Ramaphosa’s balancing act.
Following the official announcement, which was made by the president at the
Union Buildings, Malema, along with the EFF, described the Cabinet as “an
absolute insult to the intelligence of the country”.
Julius Malema: This means war
The EFF issued a statement which criticised Ramaphosa and
his ‘dishonest’ decision making. The Red Berets, who experienced positive
growth in the latest electoral conference, argued that Ramaphosa – who had
promised to reduce the size of Cabinet – had clearly lied about intentions. The
“The first sign of absolute dishonesty is the idea that he has reduced the cabinet by reducing the number of ministers, yet he increases deputy ministers.
The cabinet remains a bloated bunch of people, which is a clear disregard for the public purse in favour of satisfying the faction demands of the ANC.”
Naturally, the EFF also rejected the appointment of Gordhan
in defence of the Public Protector’s office and the remedial action which was tabled
before the president. The EFF, in its statement, referred to Gordhan a “corrupt
individual found guilty of maladministration and misconduct”.
De Lille and Lamola
Malema did, however, congratulate two newcomers to the Cabinet; Patricia de Lille and Ronald Lamola. On the appointment of de Lille, who was infamously embattled by infighting within the Democratic Alliance during her tenure as mayor of Cape Town, Malema said:
“We hope that she [de Lille] will not be contaminated by corrupt activities of the ANC.”
Malema also described Lamola as a ‘progressive force’ within
the Cabinet and Ramaphosa’s administration, saying:
“We hope Ronald Lamola will continue to be the young person that we know him for and that he will not be corrupted and destroyed at an early age, because he is serving with hyenas.”
Malema calls Ramaphosa a “constitutional delinquent”
The EFF’s Commander in Chief argued that South Africans, who
had hoped to see greater reform within the administration, have been left
wanting and disappointed. Malema said:
“South Africans should not be misled by this bloated Cabinet which still accommodates crooks.”
The EFF’s statement ended in a war cry which, with the Red
Beret’s threatening to oppose Ramaphosa and his administration in the same way
in which they battled former president Jacob Zuma. The EFF said:
“We reject the cabinet and take it as a declaration of war and the EFF will respond decisively. Ramaphosa will be treated the same way as Zuma.”