Malema: I will never go back to the ANC

Julius Malema, the EFF leaders, says he will never go back to the ANC. (Pictures Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Julius Malema, the EFF leaders, says he will never go back to the ANC. (Pictures Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has ruled out the possibility of him going back to the ANC, which he said was leaning towards the right on a daily basis.

He was responding to suggestions by ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela Mandela during an interview with the SABC at the weekend that he should consider coming back home to the ANC.

“I will never go back to the ANC. If I go back, I will do so as part of the EFF as an alliance with the ANC. But, we will say to them, we need to agree on a progamme of action to [improve the life our people].
But the reality is that the ANC will never change. It is becoming more right. 

“They first implemented Gear[Growth Employment and Redistribution] in 1996, it didn’t work. Now the unemployment is even much worse than it was. They are now implementing the national development plan. There is nothing Freedom Charter about the NDP,” Malema told journalists during the media briefing on Sunday afternoon. 

He said while the ANC claims it was pushing for radical policy changes, there was nothing substantial about that.

“The ANC is envying the EFF. That’s why they speak about radical economic policies. There is nothing radical about the ANC. [President Jacob] Zuma likes saying radical, but goes back and implement neo-liberal policies.”

Ramaphosa worse than Zuma
Malema said before the EFF was launched, there was a consultation with ordinary people on the ground on whether they should remain in the ANC and change it from within or chose an alternative way.

“The people said it is not possible to remain in the ANC. They said the ANC that they loved so much changed a long time ago”. Malema said even if Zuma was to leave the ANC and be replaced by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC would never change. It [the ANC] will be even worse under Ramaphosa.  Ramaphosa is a criminal of note. In every political negotiation he sees a money transaction. He is worse than Zuma,” said Malema.

Not going back to unhappiness
Malema said he would engage Madikizela Mandela about her suggestion that he should go back to the ANC.

“I will tell Mama Winnie [Madikizela-Mandela] when I see her that you yourself do not believe in the ANC anymore. What she knows [in her entire life] is the ANC. She is not happy there. But she wants to call us back to experience the unhappiness. We are not going back,” said Malema.

His close relationship with Madikizela Mandela dates back to when he was still president of the Congress of South African Students. She was one of the few leaders who defended Malema while he was facing disciplinary action by the ANC. Malema was axed from the ANC and the youth league for ill-discipline in 2012.

Approached for comment on Malema’s remarks, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson
Ronnie Mamoepa said: “I don’t think we must dignify that bluster with a response.”



Matuma Letsoalo is a senior politics reporter at the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003, focussing on politics and labour, and collaborated with the M&G's centre for investigations, amaBhungane, from time to time.In 2011, Matuma won the South African Journalist of the Year Award and was also the winner in the investigative journalism category in the same year.In 2004, he won the CNN African Journalist of the Year prize – the MKO Abiola Print Journalism Award. Matuma was also a joint category winner of the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the year Award in 2008. In 2013, he was a finalist for Wits University's Taco Kuiper Award.
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