Former ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola has hit back at claims made by EFF leader Julius Malema, a former youth league leader, at the party’s fifth birthday celebrations last Saturday. Malema claimed at the celebration that billionaire Patrice Motsepe is involved in state capture and doing the “same thing” the Gupta family allegedly did.
At a press conference held as the ANC’s NEC lekgotla came to a close, Lamola said the claims made by Malema were “wild and unsubstantiated”, and accused the EFF of thriving on these type of claims.
“It’s just a public statement aimed at ridiculing black excellence and to ridicule all processes the government is [using to try] to empower black people,” Lamola said.
Motsepe is President Cyril Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law, and questions were asked about their relationship after Motsepe and his business delegation were spotted in photographs as part of the president’s entourage on a trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that culminated in Ramaphosa securing more than R130-billion investment into the energy sector in South Africa from Saudi Arabia.
But Lamola said if being associated with someone meant being ‘captured’ by them, then the EFF and Malema were captured too, as in May they were seen with Motsepe and famous footballer Lionel Messi at the match between Barcelona and Sundowns, a team owned by Motsepe.
“They went in with Patrice at the Barcelona game, and they met with Messi. They were taking pictures and selfies with all the Barcelona players, so it means the EFF is captured by Motsepe,” Lamola said.
Lamola also said if Malema had any proof of his claims about Motsepe, he should lodge a complaint with the public protector or “request an expansion of the Zondo inquiry into state capture”.
Malema told a capacity crowd at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London that he considered Motsepe guilty of state capture.
“There is another capture that is happening which is led by Patrice Motsepe. We want to say, Patrice, we are watching,” said the firebrand politician.
“I warned about the Guptas in 2011,” he said, adding no one believed him when he spoke about the controversial Indian family’s alleged capture of the state.
“The Motsepes are also doing the same thing now,” he warned.
“We love Patrice, he is our brother. But if he continues in his greed, we will fight him,” Malema continued.