EFF president Julius Malema delivered what he called the “real” State of the Nation Address outside Parliament on Thursday night, competing with President Jacob Zuma’s voice booming through speakers on the precinct.
“This man who is speaking here is the same who has said that he has breached the oath of office,” said Malema, pointing to Zuma on the screen in the parliamentary precinct, a bead of sweat tricking down his cheek after the party left noisily on the command of Speaker Baleke Mbete.
The party’s MPs had arrived earlier in a red wave as they walked from a side entrance down the red carpet, singing and dancing in their boiler red boiler suits.
“Let us go there, let us go there,” shouted MP and party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, excitedly waving at the top of the steps to the Marks Building which houses opposition MPs.
The throng of photographers, who had been waiting in front of the two policemen at the exit, rushed over to get a good spot to snap the MPs standing triumphantly at the top of the steps.
Looking down at the media, police and support staff, Malema – flanked by Ndlozi and his deputy Floyd Shivambu – seemed elated by the turn of events as they waited for photographers to take their positions.
“Here, you will hear the real state of the nation address,” said Malema.
He said Zuma had breached the code of his office and deliberately not implemented Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial actions.
“Therefore, you cannot agree as a legitimate leader of a legitimate party, elected by the people on the principal of anti-corruption, agree to be adressed by a criminal, which has admitted that he is a thug, that he has stolen money and he is now prepared to pay back that money.
“So we are also are not convinced that Zuma should speak to us, because Zuma has put this government and country in a serious crisis because he appointed three finance ministers within four days. That is unacceptable.”
He put the blame for the country’s economic woes on Zuma’s “reckless” actions.
“So this is a man who has not put the interests of South Africa first. This is a man who has not protected the Constitution.
This is a man who has said the ANC comes first, not the country.
“‘But we had to go inside and say that, to us, he doesn’t exist and we will never respect him.”
He said if the ANC did not remove Zuma, the EFF would have him impeached.