In typical Julius Malema style, the EFF leader said volumes without really saying anything in a tweet about Ronald Lamola, the man who took the reins as acting ANC Youth League leader in 2012 after Malema was expelled from the ANC.
Lamola had been his deputy prior to that. He is today a member of the ANC’s national executive committee and appears to have been tasked with talking about land reform. He spoke on behalf of the ANC on a debate about land expropriation without compensation held at Unisa on Monday, but was so badly heckled he could barely get started.
There is no love lost between the EFF and Lamola, whom the party dismissed as a “narrow-minded careerist” in a statement in 2013.
In that statement they said “Mr Lamola makes hilarious comments and calls on the youth not to support their own struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime because he believes that this struggle can be pursued through the Zuma National Task Team (ZNTT), which replaced the elected structures of the ANC Youth League and [is] currently on [a] rampage of destroying the Provincial, Regional and basic structures of the organisation.”
The EFF has long believed that Lamola must have entered into some sort of deal with then president Jacob Zuma to escape either criminal charges (which have dogged Malema for years) or a likewise expulsion from the ANC.
“As true Fighters for economic emancipation, we would not respond to Mr Lamola because in any way [six], radical and militant youth have never taken him serious [sic], particularly after he knelt in front of Jacob Zuma to beg for forgiveness, but got kicked whilst on his knees.
“But because his remarks have [the] potential to mislead society, it is fit to respond to him and remind him that he was spring-boarded to [the] National Leadership of the ANC Youth League as a result of the insistence of DD Mabuza, his erstwhile Employer, who had then committed to carry the struggle for radical change until the ANC 53rd national conference in Mangaung.”
Mabuza is today the ANC’s and the country’s deputy president.
The statement went on: “As ‘Acting President’, Lamola had already drifted away from the resolutions of the ANC Youth League’s 24th National Congress and joined the chorus of neo-liberal reformists in the ANC, who believed that SA’s economy can be made to benefit all people without [the] radical economic shifts called for in the Freedom Charter.
“Lamola is a narrow-minded careerist, who will do anything in his power, including begging dictators for his personal freedom, thus sacrificing the cause for economic freedom in our lifetime. His zigzagging on principle is evidence enough that he can never be trusted with any task, because he is only concerned about individual progress at the expense of the struggle for economic emancipation.
“True Economic Freedom Fighters will not listen to Lamola’s faint call because they know that he is a misguided, narrow-minded, and opportunist careerist, who cannot separate between interests of a generation and his personal interests. Economic Freedom Fighters are aware of many of his individual dealings and shenanigans in the lead-up to the ANC’s 53rd National Conference of the ANC, and will readily expose him if he continues to speak foolishness.
“So Mr Lamola must basically shut up because he does not know what he [is] talking about and in any way [sic], no one takes him serious [sic]. Mr Lamola does not have any constituency where he comes from, and many people were shocked that he was catapulted to National leadership of the ANC Youth League, because they knew him only as a churchgoer who was not involved in structures of the movement.”
On Monday Malema also dished out blows to political analyst Prince Mashele, but called Lamola “the biggest sellout of the generational mission for personal admiration”.
He again intimated that something had happened between Lamola and Zuma following Malema’s expulsion from the ANC, along with others who went on to start the EFF.
Prince Mashele just like Ronald Lamola have nothing to offer, Lamola is the biggest sellout of the generational mission for personal admiration. I said it before that Lamola is a sellout and I hope one day he will share the details of Nkandla meeting after our expulsion.
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) April 30, 2018
In 2012, when Malema first called Lamola a “sellout” and a “traitor” the ANC Youth League under Lamola’s control responded by saying Malema’s comments were “blood-curdling remarks not worthy of any leader, let alone one trusted by not only the youth, but thousands of South Africans, as he has demonstrated time and again”.
The league’s then spokesperson, Khusela Sangoni-Khawe, said the comments were “mischievous” and that Malema was a disappointment to the youth.
“Julius Malema’s unfortunate action of resorting to public squabbling and accusations is not befitting the stature with which young people regard our organisation … and hence we will rise to defend anything we view as an unwarranted attack against it, its views and positions.”
Sangoni-Khawe said Lamola was being attacked because he had said the youth wing had no case to answer in court and would therefore not organise any rallies for Malema while he was facing numerous corruption charges.