Julius Malema’s political enemies in Seshego, his hometown west of Polokwane, celebrated his downfall yesterday by burning an ANC Youth League T-shirt bearing his picture.
Malema’s detractors danced and rejoiced at the decision by the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeals to uphold the troublesome youth leader’s five-year suspension from the party.
They converged at the shopping complex in Seshego Zone 1, near the ANC’s constituency office, and sang struggle songs praising ANC president Jacob Zuma and the appeals committee chairman Cyril Ramaphosa. Some came from as far as Bolobedu, more than 200km east of Polokwane to celebrate.
Lucky Machete is one of them. “We are celebrating his loss, let him go down, him and all his people,” said Machete from Bolobedu.
Malema’s antagonists showcased their artistic prowess when they sang “Malema wa re sokodisa”, meaning that Malema is persecuting them.
A similar song, with different lyrics, was sung to mock Zuma at the ANC Limpopo conference in December. During the singing of this song, Malema controversially raised his hand above his head to mimic a showerhead to ridicule Zuma. This was in reference to Zuma’s comment made during his rape trial in 2006. He said he took a shower to minimise chances of contracting HIV after he had slept with an HIV positive woman.
Zuma was later cleared of the rape charge.
Yesterday a yellow T-shirt depicting Malema’s face was doused with fuel before being set alight.
This, some in the crowd said, signified the end of Malema in SA politics.
After spinning around in their cars, the crowd drove in a massive convoy to the house of Malema’s grandmother.
She was nowhere to be seen.
An exchange ensued at the house between one of Malema’s aunts and his opponents.
“Voetsek, you are all stupid. This is not the end, Julius will bounce back,” said Malema’s aunt, before the security guard manning the gate intervened.
The convoy then headed to the houses of Malema’s lieutenants in the neigbourhood, Jacob Lebogo, youth league Limpopo secretary, and Jossie Buthane, a league leader in the Peter Mokaba region.
Even though Seshego once again seemed to be celebrating Malema’s fall, his neighbours and fellow comrades still sympathised with him.
“We all make mistakes - Julius deserves a second chance,” said Malema’s 26-year-old neighbour, Maggie Bopape.
She chastised those who celebrated Malema’s troubles.
“Some of the people who are celebrating today, they were his friends. We expect them to sympathise with him even now,” Bopape added. - Tribune