Water and Sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane said on Wednesday that Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota was a “dead man walking” and EFF leader Julius Malema a “headless chicken”.
Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said this during the State of the Nation Address debate on Wednesday. She lambasted Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema for not being a “real man”. She accused Malema of supporting former President Thabo Mbeki’s removal.
Mokonyane said when the ANC national executive committee sat to determine whether to recall former President Mbeki, Malema’s voice was the loudest. She said that it was Zuma, Pallo Jordan and ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe who opposed the decision taken by most party members to remove Mbeki.
“Julius Malema will recall that he spoke longer than everybody else huffing and puffing, moving up and down like a headless chicken.
Indoda ekhatywe esfubeni asiyona indoda [he could not be trusted with information].
So you can ask for forgiveness, it is important. But you are not a real man. You are not a trustworthy man,” said Mokonyane.
Also, the minister slammed Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota. She accused him of “stealing” the Congress of the People (cope) from Mbhazima Shilowa. And asserted that “he [Lekota] is not at peace with himself”.
She said it was clear that Lekota was embittered by his past. She then recalled how Lekota walked out on President Zuma with his fellow Cope members of parliament during SONA. Reports said Lekota stormed out of parliament minutes after accusing Zuma of violating his oath of office.
“All those who watched dead man walking, surely you agree there is no basis for us to waste time with him. As he walked out on the State of the Nation Address, those who heard him walking overheard him saying ‘I will never forgive President Zuma. He was sent to the Free State to remove me and replace me with Ace Magashule.”
Nomvula Mokonyane also called the opposition MPs “dogs barking at a moving vehicle”. However, there was a mild drama as Mokonyane was delivering her speech. She muttered words like “voetsek”, “bullshit”, and “se voet” while challenging the Democratic Alliance’s claims to successes.
However, she was reprimanded by deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli, who demanded that she withdraw the remark. Of course she did, but minutes later, she said that a DA MP looked “very verkrampt” [conservative]. She later claimed that she used the word bullshit because the “verkrampte” MP had earlier used it on her.
While the drama was on, DA chief whip, John Steenhuisen was seen shouting, “I wonder if the word ‘bullshit’ is parliamentary?”
Deputy Speaker Tsenoli, who could not take it anymore fired: “Honourable members, can you stop using filthy language in the House?. It is incorrect for you to throw insults at each other. It is just simply nonsense. It is incorrect.”
President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa sat quiet and helpless. They calmly watched honourable members of the parliament turn the debate to a rowdy exhibition.