Malema: Mnangagwa, Ramaphosa ‘same WhatsApp group’

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By Mary Taruvinga

SOUTH African opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has drawn parallels between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa over the two’s slim victories in elections.

Malema was speaking in an interview with a South African news channel, Friday as results of that country’s general elections trickled in.

With 90% of the districts in, the numbers showed Ramaphosa’s ANC retaining power, albeit with a reduced majority. Mnangagwa scrapped through to victory with a slim 50.8% over his nearest rival MDC Alliance candidate Nelson Chamisa who polled 44.3% of the vote.

Malema suggested the similarities between Mnangagwa and Ramaphosa could be pointing to declining popularity for South Africa’s liberation movement, the ANC.

“The ANC has been losing votes even after Ramaphosa was elected President. That Ramaphoria is not working for anything,” Malema said with a nonchalant mocking smile.

The EFF leader not known for holding back then went for the jugular.

“The ones that they have won with 70% they now win them with 50,8% like Mnangagwa.

“I think Ramaphosa’s direction is going to be like Mnangagwa’s direction of winning 50,8% or something if he wins. That is what ANC is doing,” Malema told his host.

Mnangagwa’s presidential election victory was challenged at the Constitutional Court by Chamisa but the petition was rejected for lack of evidence.

However, Chamisa whose leadership of the MDC has since been trashed by the High Court insists he won the poll and wants the Zanu PF leader to hand over power. The opposition in South Africa has also cried foul demanding a full audit of the results amid reports of double voting across the country.

Zanu PF has been in power since independence from Britain 39 years ago while the ANC in has been in power for 25 years.

The ANC is expected to win by at least 59% of the ballot, well ahead of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) which was on 21% with 90% of the votes counted while the EFF is expected to be a distant third with about 10%. The ANC won 62% of the vote at the last general election in 2014.