Julius Malema and Mmusi Maimane: From rivals to a 'bromance'

24 December 2019 - 06:01
By Unathi Nkanjeni
EFF leader Julius Malema and former DA leader Mmusi Maimane at the National Day of Prayer at FNB Stadium.
Image: Twitter/@EFFSouthAfrica EFF leader Julius Malema and former DA leader Mmusi Maimane at the National Day of Prayer at FNB Stadium.

They might not have regularly seen eye-to-eye, but EFF leader Julius Malema and former DA head Mmusi Maimane proved to Mzansi they could overcome their differences.  

Here is a timeline of how they went from rivals to having a budding “bromance”.

Knocking out Maimane

At the beginning of 2019, Malema suggested that Maimane was a wimp when he took shots about “knocking him out” in a boxing ring.

Malema made the statement when mocking Gqom artist Mampintsha for failing to take on Maimane, who challenged him to a boxing fight after allegations that he had assaulted Babes Wodumo.

Poking fun at Maimane's authority 

A 2017 video of Malema “prophesying” about Helen Zille remerged in November.

The video made waves on social media after Zille was elected as the DA's federal council chairperson.

In it, Malema poked fun at Maimane's authority, saying it was being “undermined”.

“Those whites there are giving him a tough time, they are undermining him and Helen Zille is prepared to collapse this project because of her ego, not without a fight, she wants to live up to the title of the book.” 

Showing support

Malema's treatment of Maimane started changing when he handed in his resignation as DA leader and an MP.

Like many, Malema reacted to Maimane's announcement by offering kind words and support.

“I'm not home, but when I come back we should have lenakana la monna wa mosepidi [a chat over whiskey]. You are a good human being, don't be discouraged, my big brother.”

Celebrating Herman Mashaba's birthday

Malema and Maimane joined hands in August to celebrate the former Johannesburg mayor's 60th birthday.

The two were spotted in a group photo, posted by the EFF, enjoying themselves alongside lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu.

Standing up for Maimane

Malema said President Cyril Ramaphosa was behind Maimane's downfall, not Zille.

TimesLIVE reported Malema as saying: “Look at what Cyril did to Maimane. All of you are saying Helen Zille, Helen Zille. It is not Helen Zille, it is Cyril.”

Joining hands in prayer

Taking their “bromance” further, the pair joined hands at the National Day of Prayer at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg last month.

Malema and Maimane were among guests at the service, hosted by the Patrice Motsepe Foundation and 33 religious and faith-based organisations.