/ 31 July 2012

Malema picks Motlanthe over Msholozi

Julius Malema.
Julius Malema.

"There is Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe who is better placed to replace Zuma and lead the country in a manner that will have everybody satisfied and everybody participating in the developmental programme of that country," Malema said.

This is the first time the expelled ANC Youth League leader has said he was supporting Motlanthe for position of the party's president.

Malema added the ANC was looking to choose a new leader at the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in December.

When asked if the party wanted to unseat Zuma, Malema said: "The signs are now very clear that the party's actually looking for an alternative which will restore the dignity and credibility of the office of the president."

British media offensive
A far cry from the revolutionary who despised the media, Malema has been on a British media offensive in recent days, including an interview with the BBC's World Service on Monday evening.

He said the ANC's elective conference would be used to overturn his expulsion, a point he reiterated in the Sky News interview.

"When we remove president [Jacob] Zuma in December, it will be an automatic overturning of that decision," he was quoted by IOL.

During an interview with the Sunday Telegraph at the beginning of July, Malema said Zuma was stealing his ideas.

On his recent trip to Britain, Malema couldn't have been more different to the hothead who mocked Zuma for visiting the queen last year.

He arranged business meetings during his visit to the UK to explain his ideas of nationalisation, while supporting Team South Africa at the Olympics .

"We have met with business people who wanted to have an understanding of what we are advocating for and whether that is a call for economic chaos," he said.

"They have been engaging in an friendly manner. Actually they have been positive because once we take them through they actually begin to appreciate that what we have read in the papers and what we are saying to them are two different things."

'A revolutionary house'
Malema's most publicised brush with British press came during his notorious ousting of BBC journalist Jonah Fisher

"This is not a newsroom, this. This is a revolutionary house and you don't come here with that white tendency, not here. You can do it somewhere else, not here. You can go out. Rubbish is what you have covered in that trouser – that is the rubbish. You are a small boy, you can't do anything. Go out! Bastard! Go out! You bloody agent!"

Fisher packed up his belongings and left and the interaction between the two on the 11th floor of Luthuli House in April 2010 became one of – if not the – defining depiction of the youth league's rocky relationship with the media.