Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu
Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Malema’s party ‘faces uphill battle’

By Piet Mahasha Rampedi Time of article published Jun 12, 2013

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Johannesburg - News of axed ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s proposed political party sparked mixed reactions on Tuesday.

While some vowed to support his movement, others said his actions were the last kick of a dying horse, dismissing him as “the commander in chief of thieves and entrepreneurs”.

Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni warned that the firebrand faced an uphill battle.

He would need at least R5 million, party structures and a clear vision if he was to mount a serious campaign ahead of next year’s elections.

“You need millions, as even registration costs quite a bit. If you are a small party, you need at least R5 million to have a serious campaign. And if you are a bigger party you need more, because the costs of organising a rally, paying for electricity, offices and printing posters can go straight into hundreds of thousands of rand, if not millions.”

Fikeni said Malema’s party could be viable if he succeeded in raising funds.

“If he can pass the hurdle of mobilising resources and get the party institution he needs, it will be viable. But if he can’t, because many others have been there, it will be challenging,” he added.

This came after Malema told The Star he was consulting with other “radical militants” with a view to forming a party that would advocate a radical policy shift in favour of black South Africans.

The forum would “restore the dignity of blacks”, reduce inequality between rich and poor and resume an “onslaught against white male monopoly capital”, Malema said.

Fikeni said the new movement, which would fight for social justice rather than reconciliation, may make a “marginal” dent on the ANC, but definitely not on the DA.

“A person attracted to the DA is unlikely to be associated with Malema. On the ANC, it may make a marginal dent, which may not be as important now, but in the local government elections where one or two becomes important,” Fikeni added.

He said a successful party leader must have the following qualities:

* Be a high-profile, recognisable figure.

* Have a clear vision and policy framework.

* Have millions of rand.

* Be able to establish infrastructure of branch and regional organisers.

Fikeni added that Malema might struggle to transcend the rhetorical politics of radicalism into specific policies, or risk alienating his potential funders if he pressed for more radical policies.

But Malema’s right-hand man and former ANCYL spokesman, Floyd Shivambu, implied yesterday that Malema was up for the challenge.

Shivambu made a “clarion call to all economic freedom fighters and other South Africans to stand up and be counted”.

“The ANC will never be a sustainable solution to South Africa’s developmental problems in the foreseeable future due to its ideological zigzags, and dominance of neo-liberal and right-wing politics,” said Shivambu.

The Star received a flurry of e-mails yesterday from mostly ANC members either enquiring about Malema’s party or condemning him.

Bucs Nkosi, an ANC member from Mpumalanga, said he agreed with Malema.

“I am in awe of Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez. We need radical policies in this country, not the illuminating Gupta relationship. We must defeat the elite few who have hijacked the country,” he said.

Takalai Mudau, a 25-year-old ANC member from Zeerust in North West, requested Malema’s details, saying: “I want to be part and parcel of the organisation.”

Others said Malema was trying to use the disenchanted youth for his selfish ends.

The Star

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