COPE Leader Mosioua Lekota has brought the National Assembly to complete quiet, followed but murmurs of startle when he accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of selling him and other comrades out to the apartheid special branch.

On the second day of the debate on the State of the Nation Address (delivered by Ramaphosa last Thursday), Lekota’s speech was preceded by a back-and-forth argument between him and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson, Thandi Modise. This, when Lekota refused to address the house in Ramaphosa’s absence.

Ramapahosa, who later assumed his seat, had apparently stepped out of the house just before Lekota took to the podium.

“Madam Speaker, shouldn’t I wait for the President… The President addressed me when he was here on the podium. I want the President because I want to answer to some of the things he said to me. He called me by name.”

Later, when Ramaphosa had assumed his seat again, Lekota continued with his response, first recalling what he says was a trip they were invited on by the late Black Consciousness Movement leader, Steve Biko.

“I do want to say to you Mr. President that we were invited on a trip of struggle by the preeminent leader of the students of our time, the late Steve Biko, who said we must fight the struggle, and said that, and I quote, ‘In case of danger or living conditions that threatened human life, we must accept for what it is or not at all.’ ”

Lekota says about two years later, he and other comrades were in detention, when Ramaphosa “condemned them to the Special Branch.”

“It didn’t take very long… two years or so, because that was around 1972 because in 1974 we went into detention, among others. And in the course of that, we had to respond to this challenge, and I want to say to you, you invited me last week. We had to respond to that challenge and your invitation last week was late. The challenge we had to respond to was that time. And you, with us in detention, when it was difficult, you wrote to the Special Branch that we put communist ideas into your head. In doing so, you condemned us to the Special Branch. And I say this to you because the Special Branch rewarded you, as they always reward their ‘victims’, and they sent you home – and we headed to Robben Island. You should have responded… this invitation that you are issuing on Friday, you should have issued it then. We should have travelled together to the island to serve years for the struggle of our people. I will not join you on the trip you are suggesting. I will not join you because you made your choice then.”

On Tuesday, EFF leader, Julius Malema, accused Ramaphosa of pleasing white people by downplaying the expropriation of land without compensation

Malema said the President’s fear of white people would prevent black people from succeeding.

“President, you must be honest, you have never believed in the expropriation of land without compensation. Your refusal to acknowledge the existence of phenomenon of white monopoly capitalism is because you are a product of these greedy capitalists. Your collective cowardice and fear of white people will keep black people in permanent poverty and starvation. You have abandoned your own party to appease whiteness because things like expropriation of land are the resolutions of your own party, but every time you speak about them you are wishy-washy.”

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