Beeld reported on Wednesday that Ramphele made the comparison after delivering the second Frederik van Zyl Slabbert memorial lecture at a high school in Polokwane.
Malema is making dangerous promises on land expropriation to desperate people, like Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini had done ahead of World War II, she said.
“You must not forget how Hitler and Mussolini emerged as leaders because desperate people were looking for an alternative.
“Malema is no alternative. He is facing corruption charges and does not pay his taxes,” she said.
In a diplomatic response, Malema said he respected Ramphele as a mother and would not engage in name calling with her. “I want to pass a message to her that Ma Ramphele, I still love you and respect you very much.”
Ramphele said that Van Zyl Slabbert, who led the Progressive Federal Party and was an old friend of hers, would be sad to see how many people still had no housing, jobs or food 20 years into democracy. He died in 2010.
She added that it was important for citizens to think about the future and vote wisely.
Residents of Mokopane had told her how the ANC had allegedly threatened to take away their RDP homes and pensions if they did not vote for the party. “It is criminal to threaten people with this,” she said.