26 March 2019

South Africa: Julius Malema, a Forever Ten Percent Man?


Predictions may vary for what the outcome of the May elections will be but there are one or two trends on which some pollsters agree. From the polls so far, it appears that the ANC will lose some support from its 2014 showing, the DA is likely to stay roughly where it is, while the EFF appears likely to make some gains. The main EFF-related issue is whether or not the EFF will get above or below 10% of the vote and what that means for the SA politics.

There can be no debate over the impact that the EFF, and its leader Julius Malema, have had on our politics since their inception. Before the 2014 elections Parliament was a quiet-ish place. Much of our politics had the centre of gravity in Gauteng, where the President sits and the ANC's national executive committee usually meet.

In 2014, however, shock therapy was administered to the SA Parliament when the red berets introduced the politics of spectacle and the State of the Nation Address went from Gareth Cliff's drinking game to a Twitter sensation because of the tension between Malema and then President Jacob Zuma, and the frequent fist fights that followed...

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