Outspoken South African opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has described President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a fool who uses heavily armed State security forces to brutalise unarmed citizens.
Malema made the attack at a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa Saturday, a day Zimbabwe's Ministry of Information secretary Nick Mangwana dismissed him as a misguided and misplaced politician.
Mangwana was responding to Malema's stinging criticism of Mnangagwa's decision to agree to compensate white farmers who were kicked out of their farms during the chaotic post-millennium land reform programme.
"We, therefore, wish to remind Mr Malema that Zimbabwe is not a province of South Africa or one of his shacks and he should leave Zimbabweans to deal with Zimbabwean issues," Mangwana said.
"While Zimbabwe welcomes any counsel from its neighbours, government is of the view that Malema, as one of the opposition leaders in South Africa, is better-occupied tackling challenges in his own country rather than pronouncing himself on matters he is not well versed within Zimbabwe."
However, Malema in response said he does not care about Zanu PF, the party Mnangagwa leads but is worried about Zimbabwean citizens.
Malema said by deploying the military to thwart citizen demonstrations, Mnangagwa, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, had declared the people the enemy of the State.
Heavily armed soldiers and police officers from the anti-riot division ensured street protests which had been planned for July 31 could not proceed as they mounted roadblocks in all major cities and towns across the country.
Malema found everything wrong with that, adding he had no relationship with Zanu PF and was not married to it either.
"I don't care whether Zanu PF supports me or not. I don't care about Zanu PF. What is Zanu PF!" said the EFF leader.
"I am not married to Zanu PF. I have no relationship with Zanu PF whatsoever. I care only about the people of Zimbabwe and not Zanu PF.
"Anyone who unleashes soldiers on innocent unarmed people would have declared those people an enemy of the state. You are a fool and you don't deserve my respect," said the firebrand opposition leader.