I never imagined the day would come when Julius Malema and the ANC were like water and oil. Malema, who was kicked out of the ANC in 2012 for allegedly sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute, will never work with the ANC as long as President Jacob Zuma still leads the ruling party.
Announcing a decision to work with the DA this week, Malema referred to both the DA and ANC as devils but said his party, the EFF, had chosen to work with the better devil, the DA. I think his expulsion from the ANC was a terrible mistake that has come back to haunt them. Malema has proved to be a thorn in the side of the ruling party.
Just look at what happened to the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) after Malema and his close political ally, Floyd Shivambu, were shown the door. The ANCYL, referred to as kingmakers when Malema was its president, has become an irrelevant organisation, disconnected from the many young South Africans it is meant to serve, who have found a new home in the EFF.
The EFF has even eaten into ANC votes, as seen in this recent local government elections. Malema is an astute politician. He has matured politically, and he would have been better used by the ANC. The guy speaks from the heart, and my colleagues in the media say they like him because he gives them colourful quotes.
I wonder what Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, who announced Malema’s expulsion, are thinking now. Maybe they are singing R Kelly’s song If I could Turn Back The Hands Of Time. Whatever they are thinking, it is too late. The damage has been done.
Ramaphosa is no longer the man we knew before the ANC came into power. There is no one left in the ANC to turn things around. I had hopes for Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula and Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba, but they are finished. Interestingly, they are both former ANCYL leaders.
The ANC, the glorious movement that brought us freedom, is under pressure. It has to accede to certain demands, but not the recall of President Jacob Zuma. I shed a tear sometimes when I see the party my late mother loved so dearly being destroyed.