- The ANCYL national youth task team has stepped up to defend President Cyril Ramaphosa after Julius Malema labelled him a "bastard" and "sell-out".
- It says the EFF leader is attacking the president in a bid to gain relevance.
- It says Malema is known for "exhibiting a plethora of thuggery and his ill-mannered gimmicks disguised as revolutionary" will never fool South Africans.
The ANC Youth League's (ANCYL) national youth task team (NYTT) has come out in defence of President Cyril Ramaphosa following a blistering attack from former ANCYL president and now EFF leader Julius Malema.
In a statement, the convenor Tandi Mahambehlala and coordinator Sibongile Besani described the EFF leader's remarks about Ramaphosa outside the US embassy on Monday as "verbal diarrhoea".
Malema was speaking at the party's Black Lives Matter demonstration. The Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum across the globe in recent weeks since the death of an African American George Floyd after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck in the US.
Malema, who had previously accused the president of giving up his role as captain of the South African ship, hit out at Ramaphosa during the EFF's event. Malema accused him of selling out to white people and being responsible for the country's first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela's U-turn on nationalisation.
The EFF leader said his party would no longer participate in the president's consultative meetings with opposition parties, complaining that Ramaphosa didn't listen to them but attempted to neutralise them.
"Demagogues and bigots like Malema will not contribute anything meaningful to the noble cause of confronting and defeating the deep-seated racial inequalities that Africans are subjected to in America and elsewhere in the world," the NYTT leaders said.
The structure, tasked with rebuilding the ANC Youth League, has failed to return to its former glory since its disbandment and the expulsion of Malema. The NYTT said its former leader had failed "dismally" in his attempt to gain relevance.
"His conduct is a slap in the face of the struggle to defeat the systematic racism that black people continue to be victims of," said the NYTT.
The EFF firebrand also hit out at the president for speaking on the Black Lives Matter movement, saying he had no right to do so as he was complicit in the police's killing of striking mineworkers in the Marikana tragedy in 2012.
This came after Ramaphosa led the ANC and its alliance partners' anti-racism and anti-police brutality campaign on Friday.
The NYTT said Malema needed to remember that Ramaphosa had the respect of the country's citizens, the continent and is held in "high esteem" across the globe.
"We know that Malema is beyond reproach and is a lost cause, and therefore we urge South Africans to reject his foolishness at a time when we are all galvanised to fight against racial injustices where black people's lives do not matter in certain parts of the world," urged the NYTT.