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Julius Malema - The Rookie in South Africa's Parliament

Updated on May 16, 2014
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The New Party in South Africa's Parliament

In July 2013 Julius Sello Malema, born 3 March 1981, founded a new political movement in South Africa – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). During the national election on 7 May 2014 the EFF received 1 169 259 of the 18 654 771 votes (6.35%), which gives them 25 seats in parliament.

Mentioning only the first three parties, the 400 seats in South Africa’s parliament will be controlled as follows -

Percentage of total votes
Seats in Parliament
African National Congress (ANC)
Democratic Alliance (DA)
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)
Ten more parties
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Party’s policies regarding land reform and nationalization -

Nationalization (or not) and land reform is but only two of the most relevant issues on South Africa's political agenda. Considering the policies of the EFF, we have to compare them to the policies of the ANC and also of the DA -

Land Reform

On June 30, 2012 the ANC introduced a new policy on land reform, based directly on section 25 of the Constitution which states that expropriation of land must be accompanied by compensation that is "just and equitable". Expropriation is also only allowed by the Constitution if it is in "the public interest" or for a "public purpose".
“Remain committed to the principle of willing buyer-willing seller.”
"Why should we pay for our land? Our land should be returned to us (black South Africans) without compensation. The "willing buyer, willing seller" principle should be scrapped.”

Nationalization of Mines

President Jacob Zuma has stressed this on numerous occasions: "We're very clear. It (nationalization) is not our policy. We've been saying this inside the country, outside the country. It cannot be."
“Nationalization will not eradicate poverty."
Being a vocal advocate of nationalising South African mines and land, Julius Malema is determined to submit a nationalization programme based on the programme used by Venezuela.
 Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Julius Malema’s Political Aspirations

Before the election Julius Malema threatened to mobilize a civil war, but after the election, with 6.35% of the national vote in his favour, he assured the country that they, the EFF, don’t want a civil war. . “We don’t want civil war, we don’t want this country in ashes. We love this country of Nelson Mandela,” were his words.

He surprised the entire country when he addressed the violent protesters in Alexandra – (the followers of different parties who were attacking each other before and on election day while setting buildings alight). “People of Alexandra, protest in a dignified manner! Don’t put South Africa in ashes because of your anger. This is not the beginning, it is the end. We are all winners, everyone has won here. Let us not be bad losers … and allow the ANC to rule for the next five years.”

He emphasized the EFF’s mission to uplift the poor and the working class. “The EFF is the “party of the people”,” he said. "We want ordinary people who come from the poorest of the poor to be leaders in this organization. We are sending ordinary people to Parliament, and we will not adhere to the formal attire. We will wear our trademark red overalls.” He committed his party members who would go to Parliament to uphold their working class roots.

On the EFF’s Parliamentary plan, Mr Malema said it may support the ANC if they wanted a two-thirds majority to change the constitution for land expropriation without compensation and they may support the DA if it wants to continue with its motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

Julius Malema’s Qualifications:

Julius Malema, a member of the Pedi People in South Africa, became the president of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in April 2008.

Son of a single mother who earned a meagre salary as a domestic worker, Julius distinguished himself as a leader in 1995 at the age of 14 when he was elected as chairman of the ANC Youth League branch in his hometown, Seshego, and two years later chairman of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) for the Limpopo province. In 2001, at the age of 20, he was elected national president of this organization.

Until his expulsion from the ANC in 2012, he was a devoted supporter of South Africa’s current president, Jacob Zuma.

Some people see Malema as South Africa’s future president, while others see him as a sparker of racial conflict, reckless and powerful enough to destabilize the country.

With a two-year diploma in Youth Development, earned in 2010 through the University of South Africa, he is determined to change South Africa capitalist economy into a socialist economy.


"I only debate with serious political youth formations, not a group of the racist Helen Zille's garden boys." (On opposition Democratic Alliance's youth wing)

"Let the minister (of Education, Naledi Pandor) use that fake accent to address our problems and not behave like a spoilt minister."

"We do not need the permission of white political messiahs to think." (Referring to Jeremy Cronin, an official of the Communist Party.)

Source:BBC News

Julius Malema’s reputation (Only some of the highlights)

Numerous accusations of intimidation and fraud became Malema’s lot even before his election as president of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in April 2008.

April 2009 – Malema’s enthusiastic campaigning for the ANC in hospitals wards and at schools are being criticized by ANC authorities.

September 2009: After Nedbank withdrew its sponsorship from Athletics South Africa, Malema threatened to ‘encourage’ the withdraw of all public accounts. He suggested that the bank’s withdraw was related to the athletic Caster Semanya, also from the Pedi People, being a hermaphrodite, which gave her an unfair competitive advantage. According to him hermaphrodites is a ‘concept unknown to the Pedi people and imposed by Imperialists”. (In SA [and Zimbabwe] Imperialism is associated with the British Empire.)

South Africa (Dark blue)

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Wikimedia Commons | Source

March, 2010 – Convicted of hate speech for his comments about the woman who has accused President Jacob Zuma of rape. His comment was: “When a woman didn't enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning.... Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money." He was ordered to make an unconditional apology and pay R50,000 rand ($6,700) to a centre for abused women.

September 12, 2011 - Malema was again convicted of hate speech for singing an “Apartheids-era Anthem” – Kill the Boer (farmer/white man), which has already been ruled as "unconstitutional and unlawful" by the South Gauteng High Court on March 26, 2010.

March 18, 2010 - The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) supports a complaint against ANC Youth League spokesperson, who threatened to reveal journalists' private details. Sanef rejected the ANCYL brazen attacks on press freedom in the new South Africa. Malema then issued a statement that the ANCYL would continue to expose journalists. An article posted by the DailyMaverick on July 23, 2012 stressed the price of investigating Malema.

April 2010 – Malema’s visit to Zimbabwe was condemned by the president of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai. (At that time, due to political negotiations, Tsvangirai was Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, while his opposition, Robert_Mugabe, was the president.) Malema described Tsvangirai as an “ally of Imperialists".

April 8, 2010 - Malema lashed out during a news conference at Jonah Fisher, a BBC journalist, describing him as “disrespectful and coming from a country (the UK) which undermined the credibility and integrity of African leaders.” Thereafter the ANC condemned Malema's actions. He was also criticized in public by President Zuma: “".... the manner in which a BBC journalist was treated at an ANC Youth League press conference is regrettable and unacceptable, regardless of any alleged provocation on his part...”

April 18, 2010 – Being labelled by the press as “the enfant terrible of South African politics’, a "demagogue" and “fascist”, Malema faced numerous charges during disciplinary procedures of the ANC.

August 30, 2011 - Malema faced another disciplinary hearing by the ANC. The rally of his supporters in the center of Johannesburg turned into a violent confrontation. Placards held by his supporters – “South Africa for blacks only” upset the entire country, including the government.

10 November 2011 - Malema was found guilty of contravening certain rules of the ANC Constitution, which all come down to his habit of putting the ANC and South Africa’s government, including its president, in a negative light, and of sowing divisions within the ANC. He was suspended from the ANC for 5 years. After his appeal on 4 February 2012 he lost his title and party membership. A report submitted by the National Disciplinary Committee defined Malema as “.... a repeat offender who was unrepentant and did not accept the findings of the disciplinary machinery of the ANC.”

April 24, 2012 – Malema’s expulsion from the ANC was finally confirmed with immediate effect by The National Disciplinary Committee of Appeals (NDCA). In spite of Malema’s expulsion, a member of the ANC Youth League (supported by the new president, Ncaba Bhanga) warned authorities that the country's youth would rebel if Malema gets arrested: “Julius has lots of support from youth who don't rely on patronage from the ANC.... The youth are angry and they will go out in numbers. Young people will lead the mass action and they have lots of energy. And young people will not be peaceful …"

April, 2012 - The City Press reported that Malema owed the South African Revenue Services (SARS) 16 million rand allegedly related to enormous deposits into his Ratanang Family Trust. SARS has filed charges of tax evasion and applied to have him sequestrated. In the meanwhile the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, is investigating a contract awarded by the Limpopo Provincial Department of Roads and Transport to a company partly-owned by Mr. Malema family trust.

September 26, 2012 - A warrant was issued for Malema’s arrest on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption in relation to a tender awarded in 2010 to EduSolutions for the distribution of textbooks to students in the Limpopo Province. These textbooks were found dumped near a dam in Giyani.

On 26 September 2012Malema charged with-money laundering. On March 19, 2013 his farm, acquired with the proceeds from fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering, has been seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit. (Source) Four months later his homes in Sandton and Polokwane have also been seized in order to meet the R16 million claim of the South African Revenue Services.

October 16, 2012 - During another visit to Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Herald Online (Blood-for-land-says-malema) reported Malema’s utterances during a meeting with the Zanu-PF Youth Wing as follows: "He (Julius Malema) said the youths in South Africa were calling for whites to surrender land and minerals resources they hold because when they came from Europe they did not carry any land into South Africa. What we are asking is for them to surrender our minerals because they did not come with any minerals..... Whites committed murder to get land.... Actually they killed people to get that land and those minerals. We are not going to give them money when we take the land back because it will be like we are thanking them with money for killing our people.... little did they know that we are not scared of blood. We are scared of defeat.” During this meeting he also gave a lecture on why it is better to have many children rather than many wives – “....We want to see many kids, why? Because we must reproduce ourselves. For our ideas to be sustainable, we have to reproduce ourselves. In the whole of Africa, we are not more than one billion and the world has seven billion people. In Africa we have not more than one billion people… facing more than six billion. We have to be half of that so that our ideas can dominate. I know that in some instances size does not matter… but when it comes to a revolution, size matters. (Source: zim-is-an-inspiration-to-Africa)

April 23, 2013 – An umpteenth charge related to the irregular awarding of tenders to the benefit of Molema’s Ratanang Family Trust are being postponed. "We want a trial date asap and we will attempt to make sure the state does not drag its feet in this regard," SAID Malema’s attorney, Tumi Mokwena.

December, 2013 - Malema was arrested for speeding 215kph in a 120 kph zone. He was released on R5,000 bail. On 28 February, 2014 Timeslive reported that he was found NOT guilty on a charge of reckless or negligent driving. (At the same time a well-known white South African singer, Steve Hoffmeyr, was caught driving 169km/h in an 80km/h zone, found guilty and fined R10 000.)

NB: Julius Malema sees all above charges as a conspiracy of the ANC.


My personal conclusion is that Julius Malema’s will continue to be a formidable political force with the ability to destabilize the country with the support of the youth and/or the ignorant and uneducated “who are not scared of blood.”

However, the ANC needs fierce opposition, as it has become a victim of the phenomenon called “power corrupts”. A rebel like Julius Malema will expose and challenge discrepancies as they emerged, not courteously and ‘civilized’ like the DA and other opposition parties, but ferocious regardless of the consequences.

The EFF’s determination to nationalize mines and to reform land by violating SA's constitution, reminds me of the determination of the Vryheids Front Plus – a political party with 0.90% of the votes (4 seats in Parliament) - to convince the government that whites should have a piece of the country all for themselves to be ruled as an independent state. All of these goals proved itself in the history of the world as disasters, and fortunately South Africa’s constitution makes no provision for it.

But who knows what the future holds? A constitution can be revised. Nevertheless, let's hope for the best.

 Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

© 2014 Martie Coetser


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