The Commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has enumerated reasons why National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete was dumped by the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL).
Malema told reporters during EFF’s post-SONA press briefing that he had an inside knowledge of how the ANCWL made a U-turn on its preferred female presidential candidate.
He alleged that Mbete was initially picked by the ANCWL as its preferred female presidential candidate but was later ‘dumped’ for some certain reasons.
Juju claimed that Mbete was ditched for Nkosazana because she took the wrong job. According to the chief fighter, Mbete should have been South Africa’s deputy president, not the speaker.
But she was ‘deceived’ into accepting the post of the NA speaker while Zuma appointed Ramaphosa as his deputy. This mix-up made her lose all the benefits and chances of being picked as a female ANC presidency contender.
Secondly, Malema alleged that Mbete was used by Zuma and unceremoniously left out in the cold by the Women’s League.
Malema also believes that there is no political justification on why the women’s league suddenly left Baleka for Nkosazana. He revealed that the only reason why the league backed Nkosazana was because they have been bought by the Guptas.
He explained further that Nkozasana is one of the Guptas’ puppets and that an evidence the party submitted to former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela shows clearly that Nkosazana often visits the controversial family in their mansion.
In addition, he said the Women’s League knew Mbete was not going to be a sellable candidate because she had been disgraced in Parliament by the EFF on several occasions.
On a lighter note, Malema said Mbete was rejected because the cows she sacrificed in her hometown didn’t work.
Recall that sometime in April 2016, she was honoured by her amaHlubi tribe in Mqanduli, south of Mthatha, in Eastern Cape.
She must have probably slaughtered cows for her kinsmen, as alleged by Malema since the traditional ceremony was held to secure the blessing of her elders for her campaign.
However, Mbete announced during the occasion that she had been approached by “many people” to run for the position of ANC president.
Malema slammed her by saying: “These people told Baleka that she was going to be a president, then she went and slaughtered cows. Boom! they changed, they said they wanted Nkosazana for president.
What a terrible thing they did to Baleka. They even told her to leave the position of former deputy president. She is in trouble, a former deputy president status which was permanent with salary and protection.”
Since President Zuma and the ANCWL declared that they would be backing a woman to be the next ANC president, Mbete has continuously displayed her fierce loyalty to Zuma.
On several occasions, she has also shown her ability to throw herself and the Parliament of South Africa under the bus to protect him.
On paper, Baleka Mbete has the experience and is very eligible to stand for the post of ANC leader. She went into exile in 1976 and served the ANC in several southern African states.
Mbete was elected as ANCWL secretary-general when she came back from exile and then became an ANC Member of Parliament (MP) in 1994.
She was appointed as the chairwoman of the ANC parliamentary caucus in 1995 and a year later she became Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly – a position she held from 1996 to 2004.
Her first term as National Assembly Speaker began after the 2004 elections. In 2007 she was elected as ANC national chairwoman.
When former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled in September 2008, Mbete was a heartbeat away from the top job. She was briefly considered for the position of president but the ANC opted for Kgalema Motlanthe.
After the 2014 elections, Mbete returned to Parliament as Speaker of the National Assembly.
The truth remains that no one could have imagined what stands in store for the ANC and the country had it been the ANCWL endorsed her – considering the way she handles South Africa’s Parliament.