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Julius Malema positions himself as South Africa’s next President at Tshela Thupa Rally

Azra Hoosen |
28 May 2024 | 12:30 CAT
2 min read

At the Tshela Thupa rally in Polokwane, EFF leader Julius Malema confidently declared himself the next president of South Africa. Addressing his supporters, Malema outlined his vision for the future government, naming his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, as the prospective minister of finance and party general secretary, Marshall Dlamini, as the future premier of KwaZulu-Natal.

Political analyst Kim Heller believes that while Julius Malema’s bid for the presidency is unlikely to succeed in the current election, it is not an improbable scenario for future elections. Heller acknowledges Malema’s growing influence and strategic positioning, suggesting that his ambitions may become more realistic as the political landscape evolves.

“Julius Malema has evolved considerably as a politician and proved many people wrong over the years. I see the EFF party maturing, and their policies have advanced, and the electorate and party members are taking the party far more seriously,” she said.

According to Heller, the EFF has evolved beyond being solely associated with Julius Malema. This election cycle has featured other party leaders prominently, marking a significant shift in its branding strategy. This diversification showcases the party’s broader leadership base and collective strength rather than relying entirely on Malema’s personal brand.

“Within the EFF leadership pool, there are some very educated, talented and ideologically solid leaders. We also see a strong female treasury general emerging and speaking at keynote addresses. There is a confidence in leadership,” she said.

Heller suggests that Malema is positioning himself and the EFF for long-term influence and potential leadership in future elections.

“Julius Malema and the EFF have taken a very bold stance on the issue of ‘foreigners’; Malema is looking towards the future. It creates a lot of visibility and political capital for him in the continent but will cause short-term losses in the upcoming elections. The other parties have also latched on to this more opportunistically than out of other convictions because it is a trigger for the electorate,” she said.

Heller advises that it is crucial to be critical and interrogative of political parties’ big promises and motives.

LISTEN to the full interview with Ml Junaid Kharsany and Political Analyst, Kim Heller, here.



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