Threatening to incarcerate the two most-recent presidents may sound like electioneering, but this is Julius Malema we’re talking about: He’s no stranger to making startling threats. His latest diatribe came during a rally in Alexandra, where he promised the voters that an EFF government would jail both Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa.
#EFFMayDayRally Malema: Everyone who wants to know about the lives of the black people and the oppression under which black people live, they should come to Alexandra.
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) May 1, 2019
The Gauteng township has been rocked by a series of violent protests and ongoing demonstrations, related to service delivery and dire living conditions. Residents aren’t happy in the settlement, and tensions came to the boil last month, forcing President Ramaphosa to visit the region.
Julius Malema on the campaign trail
The EFF rolled into town on Wednesday, with just seven days left before the general election. While addressing an audience at the Sankopano Alexandra Stadium, Julius Malema reeled off a list of things he’d put right in Alex if the red berets were given the mandate to govern the town:
“White people live in Sandton, neighbouring Alexandra, but what have you done for your neighbours in Alex? In Alexandra, let us build houses on this land so that our people remain closer to where they are working.”
“Let there be proper schools in Alexandra, let there be proper water and sanitation in Alexandra, let there be clinics that open 24 hours and reliable electricity. We want proper schools in Alexandra and free education, no parent must pay anything.”
If that didn’t excite the crowd, his next set of promises certainly did. Juju vowed a swift roll-out of land expropriation policies, but then went one step further – he said Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa would be fast-tracked towards a prison cell.
It’s assumed Msholozi is being judged on his history of corruption, but there’s no such ambiguity with Cyril. Malema has always held him accountable for the Marikana Massacre, after Ramaphosa – then a mining director – told police to “take action” against striking workers, resulting in dozens of deaths:
“When we have finished with the elephant [land expropriation], the doors of prison will be open. Zuma will be the first, followed by Ramaphosa because the spirit of the miners who were killed in Marikana will not rest while Ramaphosa sits in the Union Buildings.”
When does Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial restart?
The idea of these two as cell-mates may make for a riveting sitcom, but Jacob Zuma could well be there before his successor. He’s back in court next Friday, as his Thales corruption case comes under scrutiny. The judge is set to rule on whether JZ can be prosecuted or not, with further deliberations scheduled for 20 – 23 May.