Malema matches Zuma's style
Julius Malema made his debut in the dock yesterday dressed in President Jacob Zuma's signature attire.
In fact, Zuma wore a black suit and red tie on the day he was acquitted of rape in the Johannesburg High Court in 2006. The president has worn the attire at other important events.
Clothes aside, Malema, like Zuma, also has an organised group of friends - a non-governmental organisation called the Friends of the Youth League and the president had the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust on his side.
The trust, according to its website, was registered on July 13 2005 to "serve as a fundraising campaign to help pay for Msholozi's legal costs as well as to support him during this difficult time".
At the time, Zuma was on trial for rape and had pending corruption charges.
While it is not clear if Malema's friends would raise funds for his money-laundering trial in Polokwane - where in 2007, Zuma was elected ANC president - there were reports that the Friends of the Youth League in Limpopo wanted to help Malema pay the R16-million he owes the South African Revenue Service.
Everyone can donate, it said.
The Friends of the Youth League's Facebook page was full of messages of support for the expelled youth league president.
"We supported Zuma [during his rape trial], during arms deal and etc why it is difficult to support Malema? Innocent until charges are dropped," posted one supporter Diba Mokou.
Victor Selapa Stanford wrote: "Coruption charges against Zuma were witdrwn. coruption charges against 2 KZN MECs were witdrwn too. charges against John Block r js bout 2b flushed 2 ."
The Facebook page, whose tagline is "Economic Freedom in our life time", was created this year. Its objectives include encouraging "fearlessness among the youth and society" and speaking "out against abise [sic] of power, looting of state resources".
Yesterday, after paying his R10000 bail, Malema took yet another swipe at the man he was once prepared to kill for a few years ago.
"We are not like the head of state who runs away and calls for 'umshini wam' to shoot the courts," Malema said.