A war of words is heating up on social media between the ANC National Youth Task Team (NYTT) and the EFF following EFF leader Julius Malema’s tirade against President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday.
Addressing a Black Lives Matter protest outside the US embassy, Malema called Ramaphosa a “bastard” who “sold out.”
“This bastard called Cyril sold this country even before he became President. The first speech that Nelson Mandela gave after prison, he said we would nationalise until Cyril took him to meet the Mennel family and he said, ‘It’s not going to work’ and abandoned the radical economic programme that existed since the formation of the youth league,” he said.
The NYTT countered with a statement on Tuesday expressing dismay that Malema had resorted to calling Ramaphosa names.
It said, “Demagogues and bigots like Malema will not contribute anything meaningful to the noble cause of confronting and defeating the deep-seated racial inequalities that black people are subjected to in America and elsewhere in the world.
“Malema is known for exhibiting plethora of thuggery and his ill-mannered gimmicks disguised as revolutionary will never fool South Africans [sic].”
The NYTT urged the public to reject Malema’s “foolishness” and added, “Narrow-minded capitalists, nincompoops and comical characters like Malema who thrive on anarchy will continue to be rejected, as they have nothing to offer except insults.”
Malema doubles down
However, Malema doubled down on his comments against Ramaphosa in a tweet a few hours later, declaring that “there’s nothing all of you, including him, can do.”
A short while later, the ANC Youth League’s (ANCYL) Twitter account, which had earlier posted the NYTT statement, quoted Malema’s tweet and wrote, “We know you ‘under immense pressure’ living large off the funds of the most vulnerable.”
The tweet referred to the latest Daily Maverick exposé of how Malema and EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu allegedly benefitted from the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.
The EFF Student Command also took aim at the NYTT with a statement defending Malema. It referred to NYTT convener Tandi Mahambehlala as a “fake youth.”
It wrote, “Society must dismiss this statement as a hoax and see Mahambehlala as a parody voice of the youth. She must be dismissed as a fake youth. She is not a young lion, but an old hyena masquerading as a lioness.”
The ANC established the NYTT last year and tasked it with reviving the ANCYL, which Malema was President of between 2008 and 2012. Many of its members, including Mahambehlala, are ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) members.
Joining the fray, EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi tweeted that there is no ANCYL in South Africa because of Ramaphosa and former President Jacob Zuma.
“For Zuma, it’s because ANCYL was going to remove him. For Ramaphosa, he wanted to stop the demand for nationalisation of mines,” he wrote.
Shivambu also quoted NYTT’s statement and tweeted, “This is so shallow and worth not entertaining. Who in their right mind defends a ruthless comprador capitalist Ramaphosa and say that the EFF CiC is a capitalist? They also fail to deal with the fact that Ramaphosa is an adopted son of the Menells, whom he took president Mandela to.”