Ramaphosa must call Malema out on 'racist remarks' - Zille

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is seen before her State of the Province Address at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is seen before her State of the Province Address at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa must call EFF president Julius Malema out on his "racist remarks" at Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip, as he apparently tries to woo the firebrand back into the folds of the ANC, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said on Monday.

"A more racist statement would be hard to find anywhere, and yet I don't hear a word from President Ramaphosa," Zille said at a community meeting in a shopping mall in Durbanville, Cape Town.

She was referring to several comments the EFF leader had made about the party's plan to remove Trollip through a motion of no confidence.

READ: 'Hahaha, you are going, white man' - Malema to Trollip

On Saturday, Trollip applauded the DA for ensuring that former president Jacob Zuma was charged with corruption.

"Compare this consistent principled [determination] with the EFF flip-flopping on this issue. In fact, if you research the [EFF's] positions on issues of major national importance since their inception, you will see that flip-flopping is the only constant," Trollip tweeted.

Malema replied, saying: "Hahaha, you are going white man. I've got no sympathy for whiteness, it feels so good for a black child to determine the future of the white one."

At the launch of the party's election registration campaign earlier in the month, Malema explained that his party was specifically aiming to remove Trollip because he was white. 

"Why? Why not [mayor of DA-led Johannesburg Herman] Mashaba, why not Solly [Msimanga, mayor of DA-led Tshwane]? 

"Because the mayor of the DA in PE is a white man. So, these people, when you want to hit them hard, go after a white man. They feel a terrible pain, because you have touched a white man."

He said this did not mean that the EFF would not target Mashaba and Msimanga. 

"They will be touched - don't worry. But we are starting with this whiteness. We are cutting the throat of whiteness." 

Relations between the EFF and the DA, which have formed coalitions in some metros, appear to have become frosty over their differing opinions on the issue of land expropriation without compensation.

READ: 5 motions by opposition parties in Nelson Mandela Bay could unseat DA-led coalition

Zille said Ramaphosa was still in his "honeymoon period" and that it seemed outrageous to criticise him, but she added that he should step up.

She said Malema's personal life was also at odds with his party's vision for SA and pointed out that his son's education at a private school was an example of this.

Zille also said SA should celebrate that, as an emerging democracy, it has ushered in its fifth president peacefully. However, she said the country was entering a period in which it will have to come up with a solution to the land question.

She said the only certainty so far was that the EFF, which successfully tabled a parliamentary motion to start deliberations on the amendment of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation, did not believe in individual ownership of land, but in State ownership instead.

The ANC also changed direction at its elective conference in December to pursue expropriation without compensation and Zille said that the party's stance seemed to favour leasing land for up to 50 years before title deeds are issued.

"The real divide is between the EFF's policy and the ANC's policy," she observed.

Taking questions from the floor, Zille said that, in her opinion, people who live in houses obtained without having evicted someone from the property, should be safe.

The vast tracts of unproductive agricultural land could be at risk of expropriation without compensation though.

Zille said that a "no-go" zone for the ANC seemed to be land held in tribal trust. Ramaphosa was not keen to upset the status quo there out of a fear that votes will be lost.

She said those thrashing out proposals that have to be completed by a parliamentary committee by the end of August, will have to consider some statistics that show that 90% of successful claimants have so far opted for a cash payout, and the remaining 10% who took the land, sold it. 

"People want to do what they like with their asset," said Zille. 

The DA says it understands that land is an asset, it enables economic growth and can be used as leverage it to start businesses, improve lives and create jobs.

"The DA believes ownership is important," said Zille.

"We believe that everybody should own property, because that is what drives economic growth."

Ward 70 chairperson Wesley Johanneson urged people who attended the meeting to start organising discussions on what they wanted.

"If we don't speak up, somebody else will speak for us," said Johanneson.

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