Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma upped the tempo of the election campaign rhetoric on Wednesday by going on the offensive against opposition leaders Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema.
Zuma was addressing hundreds of ANC supporters and ordinary residents in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, urging them to vote for the ANC on August 3.
He said he could not understand how Maimane found the nerve to call himself the leader of a political party of whites who oppressed his own people.
According to Zuma, the poverty faced by most blacks in South Africa was the end result of decades of oppression by the previous version of the party that Maimane now leads.
“He (Maimane) is the child of the National Party, which was oppressing us and today masquerades as the DA.
“After we attained freedom, the National Party and the Progressive Party decided that, as whites, let us form one party which today is known as the DA. He is a child of the oppressors.
“Where does a black man get the nerve to team up with oppressors of his people, even to an extent where he decides to lead them. When you see the DA, just know that they are our oppressors.”
Zuma’s characterisation of Maimane was in line with the tone of his speech, in which he sought to explain the country’s challenges of poverty and unemployment as legacies of apartheid.
EFF leader Malema was also not spared, with Zuma saying he had been expelled by the ANC because he could not behave himself and was disrespectful.
He said the basis of the formation of the EFF was nothing but revenge, and they had done nothing but disrespect Parliament since they were elected.
“There are other small boys who have no respect and they cannot behave themselves, so the ANC expelled them.
“They are angry and their party is about nothing but disrespect, why would you waste your vote on them?
“Now they have turned the honourable House of Parliament into a laughing stock. They claim to love the country but they don’t respect the country’s institutions. They are bordering on being mad,” said Zuma.
The president’s appearance in Tembisa was part of the ANC’s efforts to retain the Ekurhuleni metro, where it is facing a stiff challenge from the DA.