Shivambu slams ‘crazy’ survey that shows Malema now less popular than ‘end-days’ Zuma

The EFF’s Floyd Shivambu, left, reacts as Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema briefs the
media, 13 October 2016. Picture: Neil McCartney

The EFF’s Floyd Shivambu, left, reacts as Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema briefs the media, 13 October 2016. Picture: Neil McCartney

The EFF second-in-command says there’s no way his party’s president has declined in popularity, as the EFF grew in the May 8 elections.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu lashed out at the Sunday Times on Twitter on Tuesday evening following their publication of the results of a survey that showed the party’s leader, Julius Malema, is now less popular than former president Jacob Zuma was at the time of his removal.

Shivambu accuses the publication of “misleadingly reporting crazy surveys that have no scientific basis”.

The EFF second-in-command took exception to the time period of the survey, April until present, arguing the EFF increased by more than 700,000 votes in the May 8 elections, and therefore could not be as unpopular as the survey suggested.

He also referred to the publication as the “newsletter of the cabal”, a reference to the publication’s apology and retraction of reports on the so-called Sars “rogue unit” after the ombudsman found them “inaccurate, misleading, and unfair”.

This led to the departure of co-authors of the reports Piet Rampedi and Mzilikazi wa Afrika, who have since also made claims of a “media cabal”, which Sunday Times’ publisher Tiso Blackstar says they will take legal action over.

The Citizen reported on Wednesday that there has been a shift in public opinion towards political leaders and parties since the May national elections, and according to the latest South African Citizen Surveys (Sacs), the favourability ratings of several prominent political figures have seen a steady decline.

The ratings showed Malema had seen a drop in favourability from a high of 30% in quarter four of 2018 to 25% in quarter two of 2019, putting him 1% lower than that of Zuma upon his resignation in the first quarter of 2018, when he was at 26%.

“Prior to the election period, in Q4 of 2018, Malema’s favourability was 1% lower than DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s (29%),” reads the report. “Maimane’s rating has held steady for Q1 and Q2 of 2019 at 28% while Malema’s has dropped.”

Malema, however, was popular compared with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who while not that popular to start with, has seen an even further drop in favourability, making him only half as popular as Jacob Zuma was at the time of his resignation.

Magashule has the lowest favourability among the ANC top brass, having declined from 16% in June to only 11% in July this year.

READ MORE: Nine people out of 10 hate Magashule, SA Citizen Surveys finds

President Cyril Ramaphosa, however, appears to have come out of the supposed scandal surrounding leaked emails from his CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency relatively unscathed.

While Ramaphosa’s favourability ratings may have initially declined from 64% in quarter two of 2018 to 55% in quarter four of 2018 as the extent of state capture became known, the quarter two 2019 data showed that his favourability had since risen to 62%, his second-highest favourability score since becoming state president.

“This indicates that he emerged largely unscathed from the March Eskom crisis and, subsequent to the May 8 national and provincial elections, has received a popular mandate in order to address the most important problems facing South Africans: unemployment, crime, corruption and poverty,” the Citizens Survey stated.

(Background reporting, Gcina Ntsaluba)

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