Malema would collaborate/subjugate/exterminate: Why does the…

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With some polls suggesting the ANC could win over 50% of the vote and others saying it could fall far below in the 2024 election, EFF leader Julius Malema has now made up his mind, saying his party could work with the ANC as a coalition. partner.

In a situation where it is not possible to predict what will happen, and with more political players entering the mix, Malema’s comments will convince some that this is a likely outcome.

It is also likely, however, that it will be Malema’s own actions that will prevent the ANC from working formally with the EFF in the national government. Malema’s comments — made for the first time in a interview with News24 – may even be an indication that he has run out of ideas and is unable to regain the momentum and energy that his party had years ago. (He is probably not the only leader of an opposition party to hold this post.)

Malema’s comment that his party could work with the ANC appears to be accompanied by a series of other controversial statements. He said the EFF could “use the ANC to destroy itself”, while claiming that the ANC was a party that existed to serve white capital.

Malema said ANC treasurer Paul Mashatile would be a better leader than President Cyril Ramaphosa, who he said should be removed from office.

Triggering speculation

These comments may be having the effect Malema intended: they start a period of speculation about who might work with whom after 2024. And while much of the attention is on the national government, it is likely that the politics of several provinces will become even more complicated after the ballot.

Malema can now say he is open to working with the ANC in national government, but he does not appear to have explained why, when given the opportunity to work with whom last year, he decided to vote in favor of DA mayors. and speakers in Ekurhuleni and Joburg.

Why did he want to support the DA last year, but has now decided he wants to support the ANC? This suggests that there is a clear lack of principle involved; that Malema is ready to support whoever will do him the best deal at the moment.

He is not alone in this – coalition politics is not often a matter of principle. As has been said repeatedly in several places, politicians will “often cross that bridge when they get there.”

That said, Malema’s comments could prevent the ANC from deciding to work with him.

First, a party that would be the majority partner in a coalition is unlikely to want to work with another party that explicitly claims that its objective is “to use the ANC to destroy itself”.

It’s one thing to work with a party that competes with you for votes; it’s quite another to work with someone who publicly says they want to destroy you.

Furthermore, Malema’s continued apparent support for some ANC leaders over others makes the task even more difficult. Just three years ago, he claimed Vice President David Mabuza was “clean”; a month later he claimed that Mabuza was “rotten”.

Two weeks ago, Malema claimed that former State Security Agency chief executive Arthur Fraser’s claims about the Phala Phala scandal were actually the work of former president Thabo Mbeki.

He provided no evidence for this, and Mbeki strongly denied it. In the absence of any evidence, it must be assumed that Malema simply lied about the internal dynamics of the ANC.

So why should the ANC trust him?

It is also likely that Malema’s real intention is to weaken and depose the ANC’s most popular leader, who is still Ramaphosa. If so, it would be foolish for the ANC to accept his offer to work with him.


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Gravity-defying flip flops

It’s worth remembering that while Malema is often accused of flip-flopping on important issues, the only common thread seems to be his support for anyone who might weaken Ramaphosa.

But her other flip flops do defy gravity. He believed that the suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane should be removedbut now he supports her.

He also backed the justice system during the Jacob Zuma years and said Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe should be removed from office as a “rotten potato”. Now he appears to be actively undermining the justice system and thinks Hlophe should be Chief Justice because he has the “best legal mind”.

There are many other examples of this. And yet, through it all, Ramaphosa always remained his target.

(There’s not much of a surprise there: Ramaphosa was the chairman of the ANC’s disciplinary committee appeals and he’s the one who sealed Malema’s fate as ANC Youth League leader – Ed)

Malema is not the only party leader to suggest he would work with the ANC. AD leader John Steenhuisen has suggested – repeatedly – ​​that his party would be ready to form a government with Ramaphosa as president.

However, when party leaders make these kinds of comments, it’s also possible that another dynamic is at play. It’s surely an admission by both Steenhuisen and Malema that they can’t get the necessary support on their own. They are virtually giving up on the idea of ​​forming their own cabinet, or even being a senior coalition partner in a national government.

And, in the case of both sides, there is evidence that their progress has stalled. The EFF appeared to make little headway in the 2021 local elections, despite pandemic conditions that have surely worsened life in its main target constituency.

In a way, Malema may now be where Steenhuisen was 18 months ago, when he told the Sunday Times“Could we work with the ANC? Yes absolutely…”

It is likely that we are about to enter a period of prolonged activity around 2024 coalitions. In some provinces, there will likely be adversarial coalitions (where Party A will be in a coalition with Party B in one province and against it in another or in the national government).

Although it is difficult to say now what will happen, it is extremely likely that a prediction can be made with some certainty: there will be very few principles involved, and most politicians will be looking for the best deal to themselves, not for their constituents. You can take it to the bank. DM

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