Malema’s media spin cycle

It all started out with an SMS exchange last Saturday, the contents of which ended up appearing on the front page of the City Press.

After reporter Dumisane Lubisi requested comment on African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema’s involvement in Limpopo businesses that were racking up millions in government tenders, Malema responded, the paper reported, by asking if Lubisi was married.

“Yes,” Lubisi replied.

“Ask your partner those questions,” Malema shot back.

But by Sunday afternoon, Malema’s media tactics had shifted. Dramatically.

African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema on Monday took a swipe at the media following recent reports of an extravagant lifestyle. Watch his response to allegations on video.

By then most of the journalists in the country received an invitation from the youth league’s spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, saying the group’s “top five “officials would respond to “all questions” concerning reports about Malema at a press conference at Luthuli House in downtown Johannesburg to be held Monday at noon.

Unanswered questions
Alas, it was not to be so. There was a press conference held, where about fifty journalists and select ANCYL supporters gathered in the lobby where Malema spoke, then furiously scribbled down questions as they came in from members of the media. But just a select few questions were answered in the hour-and-a-half long conference.

Julius Malema: A special report

One of the most glaring questions left unanswered: Do you have income other than your ANCYL salary? Malema would only say he was not at liberty to disclose his salary from the youth league — and besides it was none of our business — but that it was “way above” the reported R20 000 a month, adding that like other “youth who has been working for six or seven years” he owns a house and a car. A sweet little Mercedes C63 (“equivalent to anyone who is working”) if you must know.

Among other things, he went on to say was that he was not a director of the companies in question, that journalists were reckless and incompetent, that there were people out to get him and that they would not succeed. For good measure, he added that the youth league would influence the nationalisation of mines (one comrade mentioned that land ownership was next on their list) and, mostly, that the problem all comes down to the fact that some people just don’t want to see a “black diamond shine”.

Little did we know then that Malema was just getting started with his spin cycle. A rapid-fire selection of emails kept coming from Shivambu, confirming support of Malema from various youth league chapters across the country.

The next morning, Malema was on SAfm’s After Eight Debate with Tim Modise, and showed up at Prime Media’s Sandton station (arriving in a white Range Rover with no plates) in time to talk to Redi Direko, where he declared that the reports were “all lies”; Direko suggested he release a song called It Wasn’t Me.

Case closed
At about seven that evening, his interview with Jeremy Maggs was aired on eNews and, after that, Malema made it on Metro FM Talk with Sakina Kamwendo for the 8pm to 9pm slot. On Wednesday at about 7:20am, you could hear him live on Morning Live, interviewed by host Vuyo Mbuli.

But by 11 am, he was finished with us all. Shivambu sent out another email. The subject line: The ANC Youth League closes the debate on the ANC Youth League president’s lifestyle and business involvements. “The chapter is closed,” wrote Shivambu in the release, “we should move on and members of the media are humbly requested to respect that we are doing no further enquiries”.


Senior SANDF colonel involved in an alleged business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal

AU pushes the frontiers of transitional justice

Now these important policy developments must be implemented

Mass store and job cuts at Massmart

Changed market conditions and an appalling economy has hit low end cash-and-carry outlets

Courts to guide land expropriation

Two bits of law need to be approved before a court can decide if land owners will be compensated

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.