POLL | What do you think of Malema’s change of tune about Paul Mashatile?

30 August 2022 - 12:28
By Unathi Nkanjeni
EFF president Julius Malema has moved from insults to praise for ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile. File photo.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times EFF president Julius Malema has moved from insults to praise for ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile. File photo.

EFF leader Julius Malema’s eyebrow-raising change of tune about ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile has been met with mixed reactions. 

Malema declared his party is prepared to work with the ANC, rather than the DA, as a coalition partner after the 2024 elections.

He told News24 he was willing to back Mashatile over President Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the ANC. 

Mashatile is in the running for the position of ANC deputy president at the party’s elective conference in December.

Last year Malema vowed the EFF would never work with Mashatile, calling him “dishonest” and a “schemer”.

“Paul Mashatile is one of the most dishonest people ever. You must never meet that guy and think something will happen. Through his scheming and political manoeuvring he managed to hold the ANC staff members for four months,” Malema said at the time.

“They thought the salary was coming, and when they said it is four months, I said: ‘That’s Paul for you.’ He’s a schemer. He works like that.”

According to Malema, the EFF demanded Mashatile should not sit in the same meeting as the red berets.

“We don’t trust anything that comes out of Paul’s mouth. He’s not honest. We would rather deal with people who are honest.”

Speaking at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s memorial in Tshwane, justice minister and ANC deputy president hopeful Ronald Lamola said the EFF should not be trusted because its leaders often change their minds when the situation suits them.

He said the ANC should be guided by its own policies, resolutions and strategies, and not by external opinions.

“There can’t be someone who stands up in a press briefing and threatens the whole ANC. When it suits them, Paul Mashatile is a useless person. He’s a junior leader of the ANC, they cannot negotiate with him,” said Lamola.

“Not long ago, when we could not have a 50% majority here in Tshwane, in the City of Ekurhuleni and the City of Johannesburg, they said we couldn’t negotiate with Mashatile.

“Today Mashatile is the best and must lead the ANC. These are the kind of characters who must guide the ANC. The ANC must be guided by its policies, resolutions, strategies and tactics.”

In response to the criticism, Malema took a swipe at Lamola.

“I set the agenda for these fools, especially this one who speaks like he’s constipated,” Malema said.

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