'Ramaphosa might have to be removed as president of country' - EFF's Mpofu

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chairperson Dali Mpofu addresses the audience during the Marikana Memorial Lecture at the Sandton Convention Centre. (Alaister Russell, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chairperson Dali Mpofu addresses the audience during the Marikana Memorial Lecture at the Sandton Convention Centre. (Alaister Russell, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu on Thursday reiterated party leader Julius Malema's warning that the red berets may disrupt President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on February 7.

"He must come clean before SONA, otherwise we will invoke ordinary parliamentary proceedings and have SONA converted into a presidential question-and-answer session," Mpofu told Talk Radio 702's breakfast host Bongani Bingwa on Thursday morning.

LIVE: #Statecaptureinquiry | Jiba, Mrwebi paid bribes by Bosasa, received NPA documents in return, Agrizzi says

On Wednesday, Malema warned that "chaos could erupt again at this year's SONA", owing to recent corruption allegations that emerged at the commission of inquiry into state capture.

Malema warned Ramaphosa to come clean on his "dealings with facilities company Bosasa".

The EFF leader was addressing the media at a briefing at the party's headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

At the state capture commission of inquiry this week, former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi implicated some Cabinet members in state capture, claiming that they had accepted bribes.

Mpofu said Ramaphosa had given the EFF "various reasons" to believe he was lying in Parliament concerning a payment made to his election campaign by Bosasa.

In November, Ramaphosa's campaign team said it would pay back the R500 000 Bosasa donation that was given to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign.

Ramaphosa said at the time that the donation by Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson was received without his knowledge in October 2017.

Malema then called on Ramaphosa to admit to Parliament that he had "lied" about the money.

"The president must take full responsibility and admit that he lied to Parliament and he knows what happens to people who lie to Parliament," Malema said.

Ramaphosa 'owes SA an explanation'

Mpofu on Thursday said Ramaphosa owed the country an explanation.

"If [Ramaphosa] lied in Parliament, that would be a serious offence. That is what got rid of [former president] Jacob Zuma in the end.

"If he didn't, he must come clean and explain that he perhaps misunderstood.

"The point is, he must do so before SONA, otherwise we will invoke a Q&A."

Bingwa at this point interrupted Mpofu and asked about whether the EFF would be calling for the resignation of Speaker Baleka Mbete and Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who have both served as shareholders of Dyambu Holdings, Bosasa's predecessor.

"It makes it complicated in some sense, does it not?" Bingwa interjected.

"It might well be awkward for [Mbete] to preside over the Q&A session. But that's a mess [the ANC] brought upon themselves," Mpofu responded.

The EFF would then use "various constitutional options, including the options we used with Zuma", Mpofu said.

'ANC is rotten to the core'

"[Ramaphosa] might have to be removed as president of the country. But we don't want to pre-empt these issues. We would like to believe that the president understands that, at the minimum, he owes us an explanation."

Mpofu said that that it could not be allowed that the president, as the embodiment of the Constitution, could "just lie to Parliament, and then it's business as usual".

"There is no good ANC, there is no bad ANC. Unlike the Gupta scandal, that can be [ascribed] to a particular section of the ANC, the Bosasa scandal affects all the factions, from the Zuma group to the Ramaphosa group, and it shows that the ANC is rotten to the core."

Mpofu said it was "shocking" that Bosasa's involvement in the ANC had been going on "for the better part of 20 years.

"How much taxpayer money has been used for braai packs and chicken?" Mpofu asked.

On Wednesday, Ramaphosa called Malema's statements "politicking", accusing him of "being an opportunist".

"Each side of the story must be heard and those implicated in the commission of inquiry into state capture should be given an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses," the president's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said.

"The president has on various forums made calls that the commission be allowed to work unhindered, and once its report has been tabled, he'll then peruse the recommendations for his attention," Diko added.   

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