Mbalula is the ANC’s NW premier candidate, according to Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema speaks at Sankopano Alexandra stadium in Johannesburg, 1 May 2019, at a May Day Rally. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

EFF leader Julius Malema speaks at Sankopano Alexandra stadium in Johannesburg, 1 May 2019, at a May Day Rally. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

While the ANC’s candidate for North West premier is a mystery so far, the EFF leader has a tongue-in-cheek theory of his own.

The African National Congress (ANC) released the names of their premier candidates on Monday, but left out the North West – leading to speculation as to who will lead the province.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has a theory of his own. When ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter to say “Good morning South Africa,” Malema jokingly responded: “How are you NW premier candidate?”

Mbalula soon clapped back. “The people had missed Radio Juju with news that aren’t news. Good morning Chief, have some breakfast and leave such speculative questions for [eNCA journalist] Samkele Maseko,” he said.

READ MORE: These are (almost) all the names of the ANC’s premier candidates

Malema, meanwhile, also took to Twitter to react to this story with his favourite Sesotho phrase indicating shock, “He banna”.

The pair are known for their banter on Twitter, which in the past has included Mbalula sharing a “sauce picture” of Malema and making fun of what he saw as the low attendance of an EFF rally.

Their Twitter exchanges aren’t always a joking matter, with Malema having “warned” Mbalula to stop with what he described as “childish conduct” after the ANC head of elections made fun of an EFF supporter on the platform.

According to the ANC, the North West premier candidate will be announced in due course following internal engagements.

The governing party emerged victorious in the North West after the 2019 elections but also saw a 6% drop in support.

On Monday, former North West premier and ANC provincial chair, Supra Mahumapelo, called on the party in the province to “address the drop in votes”.

Mahumapelo was a controversial figure when occupying the position of North West premier, and was at the centre of calls for his dismissal last year following violent protests over service delivery in the area.

Talking to OFM, Mahumapelo wasn’t about to take responsibility for the ANC’s drop in support, however. He instead distancing himself from service delivery concerns and incomplete projects which sparked outrage in parts of the province last year, and during the special voting period early last week.

UPDATE: This story was updated with Mbalula’s reaction to Malema, as well as Malema’s reaction to this story. 10:02, May 14. 

(Additional reporting, Olebogeng Motse)

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