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Durban - Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has turned on his former friend and political ally Julius Malema at a rally in Durban, saying the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) leader would be brought to his knees in the general elections next year.
Addressing ANC supporters, who had packed the Currie’s Fountain Stadium for a Youth League rally at the weekend, Mbalula said Malema was not an example to be followed.
“Don’t follow people who are directionless. Don’t follow back-stabbers. The person who will remove the ANC from power is yet to be born,” he said.
Directly attacking Malema, Mbalula said: “This person does not even have Standard 10 (Grade 12). The ANC had made him someone important. When he is removed from the position he forms his own party.”
He said the ANC’s doors were still open to those who had been misled by Malema.
Malema and Mbalula, both former ANC Youth League presidents, were once close allies but alienated many in the ANC with their failed “Forces of Change” campaign to oust Jacob Zuma.
Malema, who was expelled from the ANC, has since formed the EFF, but Mbalula mended fences and retained his position in the government.
Mbalula said the ANC’s election campaign would ensure that the EFF did not survive theelections.
Malema and others should have respected the decisions taken in Mangaung to retain Zuma as the party president, he added.
“In the ANC we were taught to respect and accept majority decisions,” he said.
He also reaffirmed his support for Zuma.
Malema could not be reached for comment and EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi did not respond to queries from The Mercury on Sunday.