President Cyril Ramaphosa is fighting to keep his position
of power within the African National Congress (ANC), according to leader of the
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema.
Malema held a much-anticipated press conference on Thursday afternoon; his first public address since South Africa’s sixth democratic election. Naturally, the media briefing served as an opportunity for Malema to expand on the EFF’s positive electoral performance.
Julius Malema analyses the votes
The EFF’s Commander in Chief praised the party’s political
campaign and thanked supporters for exercising their democratic right to vote. Malema
did, however, admit that the party could have performed better in certain key provinces,
including, the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, Limpopo and even in
While the conference focused primarily on electoral analysis, Malema, naturally, found opportunities to lambaste journalists, opposing parties and Ramaphosa’s ‘promises’.
According to Malema, Ramaphosa will struggle to maintain his position as president, following a particularly grim electoral conference. Political analysts, along with members of the ANC itself, have credited Ramaphosa for protecting the party from even greater losses at the polls. According to Fikile Mbalula, the head of the party’s election campaign, Ramaphosa mitigated an immense failure, which would’ve seen the ruling party drop to ‘around 40%’.
ANC disunity rears its ugly head
This support for Ramaphosa, as a primary reason for softening the electoral blow, has caused fierce tension within the ANC, renewing a sense of factional disunity, especially with allies of Secretary General, Ace Magashule, who dismissed the president’s positive influence.
It’s no secret that the ruling party has been embattled by
factional infighting along loyalist lines. Malema stated, during his media
address, that Ramaphosa would not see out his term as president of the ANC, due
to a concerted effort by his detractors within the party. Malema said:
“Cyril is going to have a problem. He deviated from ANC policy – he has given his enemies a weapon to destroy him.
There is a plan to remove Cyril; he can deny it anyhow he wishes. He knows the truth is that he is going to be removed, he won’t finish his term.”
Malema: Ramaphosa did worse than Zuma
Malema added that even though Ramaphosa was praised by some
for mitigating a monumental failure at the polls, the fact that he had cost the
ANC votes would be used against him. Malema explained:
“Worse, he has reduced ANC votes. You can praise him because you think you are defending him [but] he reduced ANC votes [to] 57%; the man has cost the ANC, worse than what [Jacob] Zuma did to the ANC.
He will still have to answer for that.”
The EFF leader said that while many of Ramaphosa’s promises
sounded good to South African ears, the reality of the situation, and what it
meant for the president’s future, was dire. Malema said:
“The faction against him [Ramaphosa] is well oiled… ready to attack.
He goes around saying he is going to reduce [the size of] cabinet – good for all of us, good for South Africans – but not good for him.
Cyril is caught between a rock and a hard place.”