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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs