Friday, February 22, 2019
Julius Malema

Julius Malema

Economic Freedom Fighters

CALL him what you like, but Julius Sello Malema leaves no one unmoved. Occasionally reckless, always polarising, his stances on nationalisation, the free market economy and land reform instill a holy fear among some South Africans. One thing is certain: Malema’s policies find favour with millions of young, black South Africans who are unemployed and excluded from the economy. His party is expected to increase its constituency significantly at this year’s local government elections. Malema kicked off the election campaign in October when he and some 50,000 supporters marched for 20km past the Reserve Bank, the Chamber of Mines, and the US embassy. He came to a halt at the JSE where he told fellow protestors that the days of the fat cats were numbered. A visit to the UK followed in December where he did the unthinkable by accusing the late president Nelson Mandela of betraying the fundamental principles of the Freedom Charter when he became a free man. Next on the EFF’s agenda is the South African banking sector. Malema has already warned that his party members would occupy “each and every branch of Absa ... We are now moving into practical action, we’re tired of talking,” he said.


Born in Sheshego in South Africa’s Limpopo province, the young Julius is said to have had politics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He reportedly got involved in the ANC’s party structures at the tender age of nine. He served as African National Congress Youth League leader from 2008 to 2012 and was a devoted member of the ruling party until the ANC showed him the door in April 2012. Some fifteen months later he founded the Economic Freedom Fighters of which he became commander-in-chief.