The ANC is a fractured party at the moment, and there are rumours it could be heading for a split: The liberation movement-turned-government is experiencing several factional battles at the moment, as the ghost of Jacob Zuma continues to haunt Cyril Ramaphosa’s time in office. But one MP says that Julius Malema is the president’s chief tormentor.
Has Julius Malema split the ANC? Top comrade says yes
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who has been extremely vocal on Twitter throughout Tuesday, threatened to cause a divide of his own online. He stated that talk of a split in the ANC is about eight years too late, and already happened when Malema broke away from the ruling party and formed the Red Berets in 2013…
“The compromises of 1994 should have led to a split of the Congress Movement. The same way adoption of Freedom Charter led to the formation of the PAC. The split was successfully avoided by the assassination of Chris Hani. This long-overdue split would reoccur in 2013 – now led by Julius Malema.”
Julius Malema and the ANC – a love-hate relationship
Malema made his name as the leader of the ANC Youth League, before proving to be too controversial even for a Jacob Zuma-led organisation. His defiant act of establishing a political party has given him an even bigger platform, and it seems his supporters have earmarked this moment as the one that irreversibly damaged the 109-year-old institution.
However, the jury is out on that one – and the claims certainly haven’t drawn unanimous backing on social media:
A handful of uncouth members being kicked out of the ANCYL is hardly a split in the ANC.
More like a splinter.
— Kho Jai Maik? (@mikegbaines) April 6, 2021
How can you mention Malema in the same paragraph as Chris Hani? Honorable member withdraw your statement.
— Clive (@Msutu) April 6, 2021
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi claims rejected – but he might not be far off…
Talk of an ANC split may be premature for now, but something is certainly bubbling underneath the surface. The ousting of Jacob Zuma from the presidency came just months after the bitter 2017 leadership battle in Nasrec. Cyril Ramaphosa pipped Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to the top job, upsetting the large Msholozi-faction in the process.
Things have deteriorated since then, with Zuma frequently taking sly digs at President Ramaphosa – and Cyril has also given his predecessor some back. This battle, however, has become a full-blown proxy war: Ace Magashule hasn’t taken too kindly to an ultimatum he was handed by the head of state last week, which could soon force him to resign.
ANC factions continue to wreak havoc
Magashule, a huge Zuma ally and advocate of the RET programme, has since vowed to lead city-wide protests and ‘shut down’ parts of the country – a threat that is yet to materialise. A former deputy minister, meanwhile, called for the ANC to be replaced by an interim government until 2024 on Sunday.
The party has always had its critics – Julius Malema included – but many of those dissenting voices now come from within.