Cyril Ramaphosa may have been expecting a little fire and brimstone from his opposite number in the red overalls, and that’s exactly what he received on Wednesday when Julius Malema congratulated the president on his nomination as South Africa’s head of state.
It all seemed to be pretty civil at the start when Juju even referred to Ramaphosa as a “man of great standing”. However, the tone would soon shift once Malema mentioned Cyril’s “friends in Stellenbosch” – one of the EFF leader’s favourite lines is to link the president to the multi-billion rand investment vehicles based in the Western Cape.
Julius Malema congratulates Cyril Ramaphosa
Julius Malema made it clear to Cyril Ramaphosa that the threat of white monopoly capital – a term given to the powerful, rich white citizens of Mzansi – is still something his party should be very concerned about.
“Stellenbosch is a big problem. We know your proximity to them and the Oppenheimers. You have been elected, not them. We are warning you president, listen to the people who elected you, not white monopoly capital. All the best president. We are here and we are watching you.”
Mmusi Maimane vows to hold the president to account
Meanwhile, Mmusi Maimane stayed on the straight and narrow and had nothing but kind words for the president. Perhaps in a conciliatory mood after a humbling election campaign, the DA leader felt no need to put things into fifth gear. He too promised to hold Ramaphosa to account, but hoped for a season “of better collaboration”:
Maimane congratulates Ramaphosa pic.twitter.com/5g7mlQRfnr
— SABC News Online (@SABCNewsOnline) May 22, 2019
Freedom Front Plus share their cautious views
Even Pieter Groenewald passed his congratulations onto the president. It perhaps wasn’t with the same warmth as we saw from the previous two speakers, but the Freedom Front Plus leader had a simple message for Cyril:
“The people of South Africa want hope for the future. And if I say that, I want to say that part of the responsibility is that you’re the president of all south african citizens. Therefore, you must ensure that the interests of the people of South Africa is more important than the interests of your party.”