By Elvis Masoga
Finally, another key senior leader of the ANC has publicly admitted it was unwise and myopic on the part of the ruling party to expel Malema in early 2012.
While addressing a massively attended provincial general council of the ANC Youth League in Mpumalanga last week, the province’s Premier David Mabuza made this brave admission: “The ANC is much weaker without Comrade Malema.
“I still think that if we had him within the ranks, the ANC would be much better and stronger. I myself am considering bringing Malema back into the ANC. I am following him, he might be talking too much, but it is better if he spoke like that in the ANC. When I bring him back you must welcome him.”
Mabuza’s tenacious statement was met with wild rapturous applause from hundreds of delegates. By expressing that courageous acknowledgement, Mabuza correctly summed up the prevailing mood and wishful thinking of many youths in the ANC.
It is not an exaggeration to infer that the majority of ANC supporters strongly support the call for Malema to return to the party. Some time ago a top government leader once professed thus: “Julius (Malema) will soon return from exile (EFF) and reconnect with his true revolutionary cadres in the ANC.”
A growing list of highly revered ANC stalwarts, veterans and cadres are beginning to acknowledge that Juju’s expulsion has fractured and crippled the ruling party.
Two years ago, Gauteng ANC provincial executive committee member Panyaza Lesufi publicly urged Luthuli House to plead with Malema to rejoin the party.
Distinguished ANC stalwart and veteran Winnie Madikizela Mandela has persistently lambasted the party leadership for Juju’s expulsion.
Then ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe warned Zuma and Luthuli House about the ramifications of expelling Juju-boy.
Even Malema’s arch-nemesis in Limpopo, Boy Mamabolo, has recently praised Malema for his “extraordinary revolutionary qualities and towering leadership skills”.
Mamabolo strongly insists that the persisting degenerative paralysis of the youth league was largely precipitated by Juju’s expulsion in 2012.
All sober-minded leaders and cadres of the ANC are fully conscious that the liberation movement is weaker without Malema.
Although Mabuza may probably be using the Malema factor to advance his own presidential ambitions in the ANC, his political observation is critically important. Truthfully, the ANC needs Julius Malema more than they need President Jacob Zuma.
If it was practically feasible, the ANC should partake in a political trade agreement with the EFF. In that unorthodox trade agreement, the ruling party shall auction off Zuma, Bathabile Dlamini and Collen Maine to the EFF in exchange for Malema’s return to the ANC.
The ANC that amassed a phenomenal 69% of the national vote in 2004 has suddenly plummeted to 54% last year. Since Zuma became party president in 2007, the ANC has been expelling, dismissing and suspending key influential politicians and brilliant technocrats willy nilly.
Zuma’s mafia-style dismissal of then-president Thabo Mbeki from the Union Buildings in 2008 has made the ANC weaker. But Malema’s expulsion in 2012 has practically robbed the ANC of its core traditional support base. Over 1.1 million citizens who voted for the EFF in the 2014 general election were actually former supporters of the ANC.
The 1,3 million voters who cast their ballots for Cope in the 2009 elections mostly originated from the ruling party. Between 2004 and 2016 elections, the ANC has lost an aggregate 15% of the national vote.
And under Zuma’s direct or indirect political influence, the ruling party is more likely to plunge below the 50% threshold in the 2019 elections.
Zuma’s misguided triumphalism and combative brand of politics have evidently turned the once-mighty ANC into a shallow behemoth.
Could Malema really agree to return to the ANC? On a personal level, I have known Juju for nearly two decades. Above that, I have rigorously critiqued and analysed his enigmatic political psychology and tactical manoeuvres for years.
Owing to my reliance on the dictates of quantum probability theory, I’m certainly convinced Juju will soon return to the ANC.
Quantum probability theory is a mathematical analytical model that gauges the probability of a particular phenomenal occurrence or circumstantial trend. In lieu of that, there are incremental probabilities and possibilities for Juju’s return to the ANC.
Malema’s political conduct and actions are still comparably identical to that of an ultra-militant ANC leader. His political consciousness, ultra-militant demeanour and unflinching radicalism have not changed at all.
Every time I observe and listen to Juju, I still encounter the same former president of Cosas and ANC Youth League. Deep in his heart and consciousness, Malema still adores and admires the ANC. His occasional public attacks on the ANC are actually a cosmetic cover-up of his admiration for the ruling party.
Here we are assessing a shrewd political tactician who joined a clandestine ANC structure (“Masupatsela”) at the tender age of 11.
Juju learned and accumulated all his political knowledge, revolutionary theory, engagement strategies and survival tactics in the ANC.
When he unearthed the EFF in 2013, he was actually establishing another ANC Youth League outside the ANC.
In terms of modus operandi and revolutionary ideology, the EFF is structurally similar to the ANC Youth League.
The philosophical implication is that Malema is still a towering ANC leader outside the political mainstream of the ANC.
Last year Juju’s EFF adopted the “Seven Cardinal Pillars of The Economic Freedom Fighters”. Are we aware that six of those cardinal pillars were first discussed and adopted by the ANC Youth League National Conference in 2011?
That watershed conference also re-elected Malema as league president.
Six of the seven cardinal pillars of the EFF were thieved/plagiarised from the ANC Youth League’s 2011 discussion document titled “A Clarion Call To Economic Freedom Fighters: Programme of Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime”.
Even the name “Economic Freedom Fighters” was illegally borrowed from the ANC Youth League by Malema.
These political illustrations aim to substantiate the view that Juju is likely to rejoin the ANC. Msholozi is the most powerful obstacle standing in the way of that probability.
Juju’s return to the ruling party squarely depends on the presidential electoral outcomes of the ANC National Conference in December. If the Zuma camp is vanquished at that elective conference, then Malema’s comeback to the ANC would be a done deal. But if Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma usurps the party presidency, then Malema’s return to the party will remain a pipe dream.
My assessment is Dlamini Zuma is very unlikely to scoop the ANC presidency at the conference. Only time and fate will tell!
* Masoga is a political analyst.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.