‘Expelling JuJu could backfire’

2011-08-31 00:00

REACTING to yesterday’s events outside Luthuli House, Zakhele Ndlovu, a political analyst with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said Julius Malema’s disciplinary hearing will be an interesting look at how the ANC chose to deal with their problem child.

“Malema has grown his support base over the last five years and found a voice among those who see him as a voice for the economically disenfranchised. The ANC leaders are going to have to deal with him carefully,” Ndlovu said.

“They could decide to expel him from the organisation and rob him of his credibility, but this could backfire. Some people could see this as making him a hero.

“But if they treat him too softly they will be seen as toothless. It is especially difficult for Zuma, as it was Malema who gave Jacob Zuma his support all those years ago when he on trail in the arms case.’

Ndlovu says that any hasty decisions made by the ANC could have unseen consequences.

“Julius Malema may seem like he talks without thinking, but he has some serious allies and he won’t go down without a fight.

“Winnie Mandela is his ally and we see he can cause a disruption at the drop of a hat.”

Ndlovu says there are signs of a split in the ANC Youth League because the KZN ANC youth league allegedly did not go to Johannesburg to support Malema.

“You will have noticed how he has in recent months been solidifying his empire in his home town of Polokwane.”

The political analyst said he fears the fight for the soul of the youth league will become an ethnic one. “It is not about what the party stands for anymore but who likes or hates Julius. Another point in his favour was his stance in support of the ‘kill the boer’ song”.

In recent news articles Malema has been criticised for his lavish lifestyle and accused of corruption, but Ndlovu says it will be difficult for the ANC to accuse Malema of this, as the word “corruption” strikes too close to the hearts of others in power.

He says: “I would say this is a lesson in political power play.

“Remember, your friends today may be your enemies tomorrow. Jacob Zuma will be wondering what happened to that man who said he would kill for him!”

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