Picture by JERM.
Last night while catching up on some South African news on the local TV channel there was an interview with one of our stand-up comedians, Julius Malema (joke!), at an event arranged by the National Press Club. What caught my attention was the fact that although he has been expelled from the ANC (current ruling party in South Africa) he still wears his beret with an ANC badge and was keeping the cold out with a track suit top with various ANC badges and logos. Wonder if he will wear a DA (opposition party) T-shirt if I sent him one, even though he isn’t a member of the DA either?
But joking aside, here we had Julius Malema on public TV throwing down the gauntlet to president Zuma and supporters of the president that he, Julius Malema, would become the leader of the ANC!
To quote Julius – “I will lead this ANC. You must put it on the archive. I am going to be a leader of the African National Congress, It doesn’t matter what time it takes, I will lead the African National Congress,” he said.
My musings on being expelled or not were side tracked for a few minutes when Julius mentioned he had been summoned by the youth league from Limpopo (province in northern part of South Africa) where he had been tending cattle. Just can’t imagine Julius sitting on a rock watching over a few head of cattle while aspiring to be the leader of the biggest political party in South Africa!
Further musings got me wondering why the National Press Club would actually invite Julius and former ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, who is also suspended from the ANC, to come talk to them? Could it be that the Press Club is punting for Julius and wants to keep him in the limelight?
If you want to aspire to the top positions in politics you need to make sure that you get all your facts in a row and keep your side clean.
Enter the current Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale who at one stage partly owned Mvelaphanda Holdings which is reported as paying R1000 000 to Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust which is currently under investigation.
Now it seems to me that Sexwale is seriously considering moving on to become ANC president. And being friendly to Julius Malema could help him with this aspiration. If memory serves me correctly, Sexwale was the one who pleaded for mercy for him during the firebrand’s ANC disciplinary hearing. If Julius helps Sexwale, it can be expected that Sexwale will be grateful, and ensure that Julius get his wishes as well. That is the nature of politics.
I then got to thinking about a new acronym that is doing the rounds, ABZ (“Anything But Zuma”), which would be what Sexwale is hoping for in the next few months. Certain provinces in South Africa, particularly the Eastern Cape, Limpopo (Juilius’s home province), Western Cape and Gauteng want to get rid of president Zuma.
Another person who has been reported as being an ally of Julius is our esteemed Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe who suddenly seems a bit reluctant to take up the challenge of lifting Zuma from being president. But if Julius gets to be leader of the ANC, why not help Motlanthe get what he wants?
What will happen if Sexwale and Motlanthe are both hoping for backing from Julius and it falls apart? The donations made to Julius via his Trust account have now come under investigation and we also have SARS (SA Revenue Services) allegedly wanting quite a few million from Malema. Figures being bandied about range from R10 million to R27 million with Julius himself claiming it could be closer to R120 million (SMS to City Press by Julius himself). Not that I believe Julius, I think he is throwing that type of figure around for sensationalism.
So anything can happen in the run up to the ANC conference in Bloemfontein (re-named to Mangaung).
It is also reported that Sexwale was deployed by the ANC to appear on stage last Friday with Zuma at the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference in Newcastle. Here Sexwale had to participate in singing some pro-Zuma songs.
Among the songs sung was “Washis’ iskipa sikaZuma sakufak’ amavolovolo wema!” (loosely translated as, “You burn a Zuma T-shirt, we’ll shoot you!”). Nice to know that from our president to his followers the first option is to shoot anybody burning a T-shirt to show opposition to the president! Is this a democracy?
So from my view it would seem that last Fridays charade of Zuma and Sexwale being united is just that, a charade.
I will be following the on-going saga with great interest.
At least we can say that politics in Africa are not dull!!