by Nelson Nkosi

No possible coalition with Julius Malema?

Aucune coalition possible avec Julius Malema ?

The founder of the Economic Freedom Fighters is changing, assures the South African press. And yet, can Julius Malema really become social?

The question does not really arise, as we know that the former member of the ANC has been violent in his speeches for many years. Already convicted of inciting hatred, advocating rape, racism and calling for genocide against white farmers, Malema could have toned down his speeches. Except that in 2023, he still called, in a song, to “kill the Boers”.

Julius Malema, the symbol of division

No wonder, then, that the figures put forward are so fanciful: Malema is neither hated nor loved, he fills the void of the lack of political plurality. And if the leader of the EFF hopes to achieve a good result for what could be his last presidential election, he will have difficulty surpassing the glass ceiling, due in part to the fears of voters who know that with Julius Malema, the country will head towards division. The arrival of MK, Jacob Zuma's party, can only weaken him and the ANC.

Julius Malema's double discourse

The only solution to avoid the rout, for Malema, is therefore to attenuate his speeches which would lead him to "deny himself" towards his electorate who only find in him a release of their anger justified in view of the socio-economic situation. If he mixes humor and more playful speeches during his campaign, Julius Malema remains Julius Malema. It is not his changes of outfit that can comfort him politically. But all this does not make him more likely to be associated with a coalition with the ANC, which will not take the risk of imploding its electorate and the party with such an alliance.

To become acceptable, Malema has a simple strategy: hide his most radical and extreme proposals from his program to concentrate on promises linked to the daily lives of South Africans, such as the minimum wage. However, Julius Malema wants to nationalize mines, banks and finance. But the EFF wanted to put this part of its program under the carpet, as if to become a party like the others.

Who funds the EFF?

However, the EFF has another problem: it cannot demonstrate its ability to govern anywhere near it. This is undoubtedly the big difference with Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela's historical companion from prison to the end of apartheid.

If he tries to become social, Julius Malema has another problem: no one knows where he is talking about. The EFF has in fact not submitted the list of donors financing its campaign to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Where do the EFF millions come from? Malema assures that the banks lent him money. The same banks he would like to nationalize. Between Malema's speeches and his actions, there is a real gap. Because for a far-left leader, it is difficult to reconcile a “Che Guevarra” look and the financing of his campaign by the country's cigarette leader, Adriano Mazzotti.