Malema’s dreams of kingmaker, or even king

Julius Malema wants the Economic Freedom Fighters in government after the 2019 polls, specifically as members of mayoral committees (MMCs) in Johannesburg and a mayor in Tshwane.

“We will go into a coalition with anyone who is prepared to speak to that arrangement,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of an EFF campaign event.

The EFF leader provided a glimpse into the party’s possible strategy in the event of horse-trading over power in hung provinces after the May 8 election.

A coalition deal to hand power in Gauteng, for instance, to either the ANC or the Democratic Alliance could see the EFF bargaining for MMC posts in Johannesburg or to take control of the City of Tshwane.

The DA gained control of both metros in 2016 by making a loose agreement with the EFF, which chose to keep the ANC out of power.

The DA’s grip on power in Johannesburg, in particular, rests on the support of a number of formal coalition partners.

In the post-Zuma political landscape, it is possible for the EFF to throw its support behind the ANC in exchange for posts in the two key metros.

This would mean the EFF would be in government for the first time since its formation in 2014.

That is, unless it is blindsided by the ANC and the DA, who could club together to keep the EFF out of the pound seats completely.

Malema believes that the fledgling party, which has been embroiled in allegations of corruption in the VBS Mutual Bank heist scandal, will once again play kingmaker to the country’s two main political parties.

“If the need arises for coalitions, we will go into coalitions and we will participate this time around in coalitions not for positions [but] for land, for nationalisation of strategic sectors in the economy, for anti-corruption … others will be the renaming of Cape Town airport after Winnie [Madikizela-] Mandela.

“Positions are going to be the last demand which we are going to put before any potential partners in Gauteng.”

“Research shows there will be a possibility for a coalition. If you have a vision you ought to prepare for it now, what type of coalition do you want, what are the demands you are going to put forward.”

A more interesting proposal, in 2019 at least, is Malema’s suggestion that it is possible for him to be president.

“I want to be president and I don’t bargain for anything less than that and you can be president without winning elections. But I am going to be president of this country. I don’t play misinformed politics. I always make calculated moves,” he said. 

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Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.
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