Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has warned President Cyril Ramaphosa that the EFF would disrupt February’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament if he does not remove Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan from the Cabinet.
Malema was speaking at a campaign rally in the North West province on Sunday ahead of a by-election in Mamusa local municipality.
He said, “I want to tell Cyril Ramaphosa today that if he can’t fire Pravin before the State of the Nation Address, the State of the Nation Address shall be about Pravin. We will stand up there. We will stop him from speaking. We will tell him, ‘You must fire Pravin because we must protect South Africa’s assets.'”
‘Dog of white monopoly capital’
Calls have mounted for Ramaphosa to take action against Gordhan following the resignation of Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza on Friday.
Mabuza resigned following Deputy President Davib Mabuza’s claim that the Eskom board and Gordhan had misled Ramaphosa into promising that there would be no load shedding before 13 January.
At the rally, Malema also repeated his controversial assertion that Gordhan is a “dog of white monopoly capital.”
He said, “Pravin must go, and Pravin must go now. Pravin can’t be trusted and he works for white monopoly capital. He’s a dog of white monopoly capital. He does everything for white monopoly capital.”
‘Ramaphosa must go’
Malema added, “If Ramaphosa is not prepared to protect our assets by firing Pravin, then Ramaphosa must go.
“Ramaphosa himself must leave office because we want a President that will be able to stand and tell ministers when they’re wrong and fire them.”
Besides Malema, labour federation Cosatu has also called for Gordhan to be removed. However, in an interview with SABC News on Saturday, Ramaphosa said that was not his immediate priority.
He said, “We need to focus on how we can deal with the Eskom problem and reposition it. That, for me, is the priority.
“Focusing on how we can reduce the incidents of load shedding and reposition Eskom and support the CEO who has been appointed, and to appoint a revamped board to take Eskom forward.
“Other matters are matters that we need to focus on at a later stage, but right now, I am more preoccupied with how best we can reposition Eskom.”