United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa spoke at the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday, criticizing former President Jacob Zuma in a short speech – but he didn’t let current President Cyril Ramaphosa off the hook either.
The UDM leader called Zuma a “monstrous” leader, but added that he couldn’t shoulder all the blame for corruption during his tenure.
Referencing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent description of Zuma’s presidency as “nine wasted years” while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Holomisa noted that Ramaphosa was part of Zuma’s administration, and so couldn’t be considered blameless.
This echoes the sentiments of the IFP, who released a scathing open letter accusing Ramaphosa of having remained silent in the face of corruption while Zuma reigned, during which time he was deputy president as well as an ANC NEC member.
The NFP also released a statement saying Ramaphosa was guilty of “blame shifting”, although the rest of the statement took aim at the IFP for sending the president the open letter, which the party said showed “tribalist” and “populist” politics.
The fiercest critic of Ramaphosa’s “nine wasted years” comment has been Zuma himself.
He took to Twitter to post a long piece of writing defending his legacy, including a list of statistics highlighting the alleged achievements of his government.
READ MORE: Trollip can go to hell – Holomisa
City Press, meanwhile, has reported that Ramaphosa appears to have backtracked on his “nine wasted years” assertion, telling ANC supporters at a Northern Cape rally that the ANC has “moved South Africa forward in a meaningful way” in the last few years.
Holomisa also said “brazen looting” has led to the collapse of government and made us a “nation of commissions of inquiries”.
He added that “major structural changes” are needed to make the economy productive.
Holomisa also briefly got angry after someone referenced the power struggle in Nelson Mandela Bay last year and asked why anyone should vote for UDM, as the party consisted only of himself and Nelson Mandela mayor Mongameli Bobani.
“If you think I would take instructions from the DA, take your vote elsewhere,” was his response.
A vote of no confidence saw mayor Atholl Trollip removed and replaced with UDM mayor Mongameli Bobani last year, after both the EFF and UDM left the DA-led coalition they had originally backed and joined forces with the ANC.
Holomisa also claimed he had no desire to serve at the “highest level” of government, as he had “tasted power”.