Ramaphosa, Mboweni insult the nation with nine wasted years comments - Holomisa

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. (Cornel van Heerden, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. (Cornel van Heerden, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

President Cyril Ramaphosa's assertion that the Zuma administration amounted to nine wasted years, clearly didn't absolve him in the eyes of opposition leaders.

Speaking at a luncheon organised by the Cape Town Press Club at the exclusive Kelvin Grove Club in leafy Newlands, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa was quick to point out that Ramaphosa was part of the administration during the so-called "wasted nine years".

"The reality is that South Africa is swamped in corruption," Holomisa said. 

"We are a nation of commissions of inquiry."

He said this is the case because corruption, instead of service delivery, was the business of the government.

He said there were at least three ongoing judicial inquiries that showed how the government collapsed under brazen corruption.

Holomisa said this was the result of the policy of the governing party – which was how he often referred to the ANC – of cadre deployment. 

"The president and his Minister of Finance insult the nation and blame Zuma, without acknowledging that they were leaders in their party," Holomisa said.

Of late, Ramaphosa has, in several speeches, referred to the period from 2008 to 2018 as a lost decade. At Davos at the end of January, he edited the period down to nine years, which coincided with the period Zuma was in office.

Last week Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said South Africa was turning over a new leaf after "nine wasted years" under former president Jacob Zuma - comments which landed him in hot water at Luthuli House.

On Monday, the IFP issued a scathing open letter criticising Ramaphosa for being "in the belly of the beast which was the Zuma administration".

Zuma responded last week on Twitter, claiming that his nine years in office weren't wasted. 

Holomisa said the opposition's initiatives to remove Zuma were "fiercely opposed" by the ANC. 

"Now, today, they are telling us there is a new dawn, but they were part of that (the Zuma administration)," he said. 

"We have not forgotten that more than 80% of the current ANC leadership was in the [previous] NEC."

He said he "began to panic" last year in Parliament when he heard that Ramaphosa benefited from a "Bosasa golden handshake". He said there was too much spin-doctoring on the matter and that Ramaphosa should explain the matter.

Asked what he expected of Thursday's State of the Nation Address, Holomisa said: "Ah, not much."

He expects that it will be a regurgitation of the ANC's January 8 statement and that Ramaphosa won't act against those implicated.

In a very unusual step for a South African politician, Holomisa shone a light on the shady world of party funding when he revealed that the UDM received a donation of R250 000 from MTN. He said they were still waiting on other companies.

"But we don't stress in the UDM," he said.

He said they would not beg for money.

"You can give us money if you want… but we're not going to change what we stand for."

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