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Malema’s Mugabe Closing Gambit

By Stephen Grootes
Julius Malema’s praise of Robert Mugabe has been unstinting, and it’s not hard to see why: The ANC has stood for non-racialism, Zanu-PF has not. And Malema is much more aligned with the Zanu-PF of Mugabe than he is with the ANC.

Over the weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa used the funeral of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe to apologise for the violence directed at foreign nationals in South Africa. Meanwhile, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, used Mugabe’s death to express how much he appears to hate white people.

Zimbabwe has always loomed large in South Africa’s politics. This is mainly because it is a much smaller version of ourselves: theirs was also a liberation struggle against a racist white minority government.

This has found expression in many ways, going back decades. The then-prime minister of what was then called Rhodesia, Ian Smith, received such a wild cheer from the white audience at a Springbok rugby match in the 1970s that some people remarked he would have won a whites-only election in South Africa. Here, he was the embodiment of what might have been the hopes of many in that crowd at the time – to keep…

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