ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has made it clear he wants EFF members to rejoin the ANC because the ANC is their true home.
He was recorded speaking on a walkabout in Tshwane on Sunday, which started with Olievenhoutbosch, a trip to a mall and then lunch at a shisa nyama.
The leader of the ANC was urging citizens to register to vote for next year’s general elections. He was joined by Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Tshwane ANC leader and former mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
Ironically, Ramaphosa was the man who oversaw the final expulsion of Malema and others from the ANC in 2012. He’s clearly had second thoughts about it since the EFF has directly dipped into the ANC’s support base to swell its own numbers.
He said on Sunday: “The EFF members, we would want to welcome them back. In fact I would be able to say we would love to have Julius Malema back in the ANC.
“He is still ANC down deep in his heart. So we would like to have those who are in the EFF back. Because the ANC is their home.”
Malema now has the third largest number of MPs in the National Assembly, the lower house of the legislature.
For years the EFF ruthlessly attacked former president Jacob Zuma and his government, making accusations of corruption and incompetence.
But since Zuma’s resignation last month, the EFF has softened its stance on the governing party and Ramaphosa, instead switching its hostility to the main opposition Democratic Alliance party.
Ramaphosa’s comments came after anti-apartheid icon and Nelson Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said she would persuade Malema to rejoin the ANC.
Malema previously also ruled out a return to the ANC where he once headed the party’s powerful Youth League.
“My grandmother is 87 years old. She said even if she dies, I must never rejoin the ANC,” Malema told a news conference in parliament last month.
“I would rather leave politics and go and be an analyst on Power FM,” he added, referring to a local radio station.
– Additional reporting by AFP