News / Africa

Firebrand Former Protege Challenges South Africa's Zuma

Firebrand Former Protege Challenges S. Africa's Zumai
X
October 18, 2013 4:25 PM
South Africa's best-known firebrand politician Julius Malema has launched his own political party. Expelled last year as the youth leader of the ruling African National Congress, Malema is vowing to defeat ANC stalwart President Jacob Zuma in next year’s elections. Malema was once Mr. Zuma’s protégé and had memorably said he would "kill for Zuma." VOA's Chris Simkins has more on his change of tune -- and what's driving his new Economic Freedom Fighters party.
Chris Simkins
South Africa's best-known firebrand politician, Julius Malema, has launched his own political party.  Expelled last year as the youth leader of the ruling African National Congress, Malema is vowing to defeat ANC stalwart President Jacob Zuma in next year’s elections.  Malema was once considered Zuma’s protégé and had memorably said he would "kill for Zuma."

Supporters of the new party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), are already celebrating what they hope will be a big victory in next year’s elections. Many say they want political change and an end to the ANC's 19-year hold on power.

"The changes [under the ANC] are very little. So we cannot vote for them again," said one supporter.

"The government has let us down many times so I don’t think Juju [Malema] will let us down. Viva Juju, viva," said another.

Julius Malema, known as Juju, is the fiery leader of the new EFF party.

His priorities are creating more jobs and delivering on what he says are unfulfilled ANC promises to return 30 percent of white-owned farmland to black South Africans.

"We need our land. You want us to come before you and kneel before you and ask for the land of our ancestors?  We are not going to do that!" declared Malema.

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi thinks the EFF‘s land distribution rhetoric could turn voters off.

"They run the risk of crossing the line. It is one thing for them to talk about under-development as it pertains to black people but it is another to raise the question of white privilege in a racist manner," said Matshiqi.

Malema claims he’s building strong support among young and middle class voters. He even predicts victory over President Jacob Zuma and openly criticizes the ANC, his former party.

"Thank you ANC, you have delivered me. The ANC has delivered you to debt. You are owing a lot as we speak today," said Malema to supporters.

The launch of Malema’s political party comes a year after he was expelled from his post as the ANC's youth leader in April 2012 for allegedly creating divisions within the party.  He's also facing financial and legal troubles that could land him in jail. Some wonder if he will be able to deliver on the high expectations he is setting for himself.

"He has been going around the country telling everybody he's going to be the next president.  And the gap between what he's boasting about and what he's going to achieve is going to be so wide that I think it will dent his credibility," said Steven Friedman, a political science professor at the University of Johannesburg.

Political analysts say chances are slim that Malema will gain enough votes to be president, but they believe his party could win enough seats in parliament to make the EFF a governing political party at the provincial level.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid