ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu on Wednesday warned Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his supporters that the fate of the right-wing Boeremag would soon be theirs.
Speaking during a debate on the Presidency budget vote, Mthembu likened the actions of EFF leader Julius Malema, who recently said in a televised interview that his party was prepared to remove the current government “through the barrel of a gun”, to those of the Boeremag, the right-wing group which plotted to overthrow the government.
Many of the group’s leaders are behind bars for setting bombs in Soweto in 2002, among other crimes.
“We want to sound a stern warning to those who think they can tamper with our democratic dispensation and hard won peace and stability, we also want to sound a stern warning to those who think they can commit acts of sabotage and foment civil war that the Boeremag fate shall be theirs and prison shall be their home,” said Mthembu.
“Honourable Malema, when this happens don’t say we did not warn you. The choice is yours.”
Mthembu did not stop there, and went on to attack Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane by accusing him of presiding over a party of “self-declared racists”.
“I think honourable Maimane is being used by this verkrampte party – whose members still yearn for the days of PW Botha and call black people ‘monkeys’. Maimane is being used as bait to attract black votes,” he said.
Mthembu spoke direcly after Zuma, who took to the podium after a chaotic start to proceedings.
Zuma stuck to his speech, listing government’s achievements and its priorities over the next few years.
He did not respond to calls from opposition parties that he respond to the landmark Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla, as well as last week’s North Gauteng High Court ruling which set aside the 2009 decision to drop 783 criminal charges against him.
The budget vote was overshadowed by by a violent confrontation that saw EFF MPs physically removed from the House before Zuma even took to the podium.
This follows Malema’s March vow that he would not allow Zuma to address the National Assembly without disturbance – a sentiment that was echoed by deputy leader Floyd Shivambu on Wednesday.
“Parliament is the institution that must hold Jacob Zuma accountable and he has been found to have acted outside the law and Parliament is not doing anything about it,” Shivambu said after the EFF MPs were removed from Parliament.
“We will never allow to be addressed by a criminal, we will never allow to give money, a budget to a criminal who is just going to abuse that money for his own self enrichment and the promotion of his family… Jacob Zuma will never find peace in the presence of the EFF.”
In addition to the EFF’s objection, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen rose after Zuma concluded his speech and said the president had “cocked a snook at this parliament” by smiling through a speech that failed to acknowledge the court rulings against him.
“The house is failing to hold this man to account. He’s a disgrace,” Steenhuisen said. – African News Agency (ANA)