May 7, 2012 · 4 Comments
To his advantage, Malema may have an array of platforms to launch his political comeback. It is likely that in five to 10 years, his present contemporaries may bring him back in from the ‘cold’. He has even suggested he could take the legal route and contest the decision in court; which if successful may necessitate a complete review of the disciplinary process and decision.
However, he runs a huge risk if he decides to take the the legal route. The ANC has taken an unfavourable view of those who take the organisation to court, even though one can rightfully exercise that right. Malema and the Youth League have in the past publicly condemned those who have threatened to take the organisation to court – it is viewed as an act of treachery. Currently out of any other realistic options, Malema is compelled to challenge his expulsion in court despite the fact that he may be labelled a ‘traitor’ by many within Youth League’s ranks.
Should he proceed with legal action, he risks losing credibility and support and would relegate himself into irrelevance – his largely ill-disciplined supporters are already grappling to find legitimate reasons to continue supporting him.
There’s also been persistent talk by Julius Malema’s supporters of a ‘political solution’ – which is in many ways past the point of being a realistic solution. When such an option was on the table, Malema continued challenging the ANC, criticising the current ANC President, calling him among a dictator; among other things.
To further complicate matters, obscure groups such as ‘Friends of Malema’ and ‘Friends of the Youth League’, are attempting to give him public platforms in a bid to keep him relevant. His continued associations with these “popcorn groupings” will further lead to an erosion of his credibility and upset his chances of orchestrating a seemingly impossible comeback.
For some time now Malema had positioned himself as an innocent champion of the people crucified for his views on what the Youth League terms ‘economic freedom’ and he hoped that many would view him as an agent of change, a so-called ‘economic freedom fighter’. The opposite has proven to be true, his actions since the first ruling by the ANC’s disciplinary commission have painted him as a spiteful and “unrehabilitated” individual driven by and insatiable need of creating a cult of personality around himself.
The other avenue available for his comeback is gaining the popular support of general supporters of the ANC- a move that could endear him to the general South African public, which in turn would compel the ANC to take heed of the people preferences. While this is a possible it may not be as effective, after all the ANC has proven to value the opinions of card-carrying ANC members over views of its supporters; who only ever needed during elections.
Furthermore, most influential supporters of the ANC such as traditional authorities (chiefs and kings) may seek to distance themselves from Malema as evidenced by an incident that happened a week ago; when he was refused an audience with the abaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo. The Eastern Cape’s King Dalindyebo donated a sizable herd of cattle at the ANC Centenary celebrations in January and is considered an important traditional leadership ally for the ANC.
Most telling was the fact that MK Veterans were at the forefront at barring him entry, suggesting that Malema’s appeal to influential structures, both within and outside the ANC is waning. Key ANC members do no want to be seen in his company or be seen as a supporter and this largely due to his inability of eroding Jacobs Zuma’s massive popularity among influential structures. In any case, Malema’s unforgiving battery against Zuma and his NEC has earned him little popularity with older ANC members and supporters.
Julius Malama’s call for Youth League members to fill the ranks of the ANC with a view of being voted as delegates to the Mangaung conference will also see fierce resistance from staunch ANC members. This proposed legitimate ‘mutiny’ has a diminished chance of success given that since Julius Malema’s troubles began, the Youth League has had no political programmes to speak of. Youth league members have largely preoccupied themselves with Malema’s battles with the ANC.
Julius Malema’s chances of a political comeback are slim, many in the ANC are of the view that he has shown himself to be ill-disciplined and unremorseful – and has a result alienated some of his earlier supporters. He leaves behind a struggling ANC Youth League that is incapable of launching any attempts of a comeback on his part.