Julius Malema, alongside his political party – the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has dismissed the latest Cabinet of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The long-awaited Cabinet announcement 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 reasons.
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 EFF said:
“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.”