President Jacob Zuma will not be given an opportunity even to clear his throat when he takes to the podium to deliver his state of the nation address later this week, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema vowed yesterday.
Malema, who was addressing a highly charged meeting of residents and EFF members in Mohlakeng near Randfontein, said black people of this country had nothing to lose when they rebelled against the ANC.
He dubbed Zuma South Africa’s “No 1 tsotsi [thug]” .
“When the No 1 tsotsi, dressed in a suit and tie, stands up to speak we will not even wait for him to clear his throat. We will ask him where is the money.
“They will never have peace for as long as you do not have water and electricity.”
Malema justified acts of looting and vandalism by angry communities, but warned against attacks on black foreign nationals, saying: “No matter how desperate we are, let’s not turn against each other.”
He urged residents to intensify the occupation of vacant land, saying the EFF would represent them legally should they be arrested.
Meanwhile, Zuma declared yesterday, ahead of his address, that “I have never been nervous in my life”. With the EFF expected to use the occasion – which will be covered live on television – to flay him over the state’s R 246 million expenditure on Nkandla, he said parliament would have to deal with chaos and apply its rules.
Speaking to editors yesterday during a lunch meeting in Pretoria, a relaxed Zuma said he could not anticipate what might happen on Thursday night.
“. . . the Speaker of parliament will decide what is acceptable or not. I will play by the rules,” he said. He said the EFF was jumping the gun on Nkandla, and its arguments that he should pay back the money before the parliamentary process into the matter was concluded “lacked logic”.
Zuma said South Africa’s energy crisis would feature in his address. – additional reporting by Dominic Mahlangu