Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is not returning to the African National Congress (ANC), EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has declared.
The hashtag #MalemaReturnToANC has been trending on Twitter for the better part of Friday, leading some to believe that there could be a possible Julius Malema ANC return.
Writing on Twitter, Ndlozi dismissed the hashtag as fake news. “Those promoting this hashtag #MalemaReturnsToANC are promoting FAKE NEWS! There is no CIC Julius Malema who is returning to the ANC. #EFFWayawaya,” he said.
It’s unclear who or what sparked the Julius Malema Twitter hashtag, which persisted throughout the day on Friday. Many Twitter users seemingly used it to gain followers or advertise their services or products.
Julius Malema ANC background
Malema was once a firebrand ANC leader. He became ANC Youth League President in 2008 until 2012 when the party expelled him for, among other reasons, bringing it into disrepute.
He was a prominent supporter of former President Jacob Zuma in the run-up to the ANC’s 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane in 2007. However, the two fell out when Malema began challenging Zuma’s leadership.
Under Malema’s leadership, the ANCYL attempted to convince the ANC to adopt radical policies, such as nationalisation of mines, at the party’s National General Council in 2010 but failed.
The ANC disbanded the ANCYL in 2013, just months after Malema’s expulsion. The Youth League has remained troubled since then despite the formation of several task teams to revive it.
ANC’s Malema nostalgia
Malema teamed up with other ANCYL leaders, such as Floyd Shivambu, to form EFF in 2013. However, ANC leaders have repeatedly said they want him back in the party.
At a campaign rally in the North West in April last year, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said he “loves Julius” and wants him to “return home” to the ANC.
ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza were also quoted in March 2018 saying they wanted Malema back in the ANC. “We would love to have Julius Malema back in the ANC. He is still ANC down‚ deep in his heart,” Ramaphosa said.
“I feel the ANC has lost in comrade Julius. The ANC will be better off with him inside the fold‚ so I am going to do my best to request him to reconsider coming back home,” Mabuza also said.
However, Malema has always insisted that he’ll never go back to the ANC. In April last year, he said calls for him to return are just a ploy to confuse EFF members across the country.