WATCH: How flip-flopping Malema changed his tune on ‘schemer’ Mashatile
In the latest installment of a long tradition of flip-flopping, Malema has changed his mind on ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile.
EFF leader Julius Malema at the IEC results centre on 4 November 2021, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles
Despite being repeatedly accused of flip-flopping, EFF leader Julius Malema doesn’t seem to be doing anything to stop his habit of changing his mind.
The latest incident occurred last week, when Malema gave his views on ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile.
Malema flip-flops again
This time, the Red Berets leader took only a few months to change his mind.
In an interview with News24 last week, Malema said he would prefer Mashatile to lead the ANC.
However, in November last year, he called Mashatile “dishonest” and a “schemer”.
Mashatile 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 manoeuvering he managed to hold the ANC staff members for four months,” Malema said during an EFF press conference.
“They thought the salary was coming, and when they said its four months, I said ‘that’s Paul for you’.
“He’s a schemer, he works like that.”
Malema insisted that the EFF had demanded that Mashatile not sit in the same meeting as them.
“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.”
Malema then had the temerity to say that with the EFF “you don’t get mixed signals”.
“The message is clear, one message [with] many voices.”
Mashatile must have done something since then to boost Malema’s opinion of him.
“I think he (Mashatile) can make a very good leader in his own right. He can be a better leader than Cyril Ramaphosa,” Malema said last week, while discussing whether the EFF could form a coalition government with the ANC.
Here are more examples of Malema’s flip-flopping:
Judge John Hlophe
In October last year, Malema praised embattled Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, even saying he should be the country’s next Chief Justice.
He said Hlophe was a man of “integrity and honour”.
However, this was a massive change of heart from the EFF leader. He had previously said Hlophe was a “rotten potato”.
“He is a threat to judicial integrity. In the Western Cape, that judge president Hlophe… He’s the most worrying thing about our judiciary.”
Former president Jacob Zuma was one of the first politicians to be initially praised and then vilified by Malema.
At the beginning of his political career, Malema urged the National Prosecuting Authority to drop corruption charges against Zuma. After forming the EFF, he then welcomed charges being laid against the former president.
In January, Malema, along with other EFF members, blocked the entrance at Kream Restaurant at the Mall of Africa in Midrand, Johannesburg.
He said he was inspecting restaurants at the mall to see how many foreign workers are employed compared to South Africans. He also seemed to suggest that hiring foreigners should not lead to South Africans not getting jobs.
This was in stark contrast to his previous views that there should be no border around South Africa and that Africans should be able to move freely between countries.
He even encouraged people from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region to “find a creative way” to enter South Africa.
One of Malema’s oldest political enemies is Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Malema and his party have repeatedly called for Ramaphosa to fire Gordhan. The minister has been blamed for the collapse of state-owned enterprises, even though they were in freefall before Gordhan took charge.
Malema, though, came too Gordhan’s defence when he was fired as finance minister by Zuma. This was while Gordhan had spoken out against state capture and the EFF was trying to heap pressure on the former president.
Another mammoth flip-flop from Malema and his party is their attitude towards suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
He has changed his mind about her twice.
After initially backing Mkhwebane to take over from Thuli Madonsela, Malema said he had made a mistake.
“We didn’t know what we were doing. Now we regret supporting this comrade. She is going to collapse that (Public Protector’s) office,” he said.
This opinion quickly changed when Mkhwebane was involved in unsuccessful legal battles with Ramaphosa and Gordhan.
“We need to support her, particularly because if you look at the type of people who are against her, those are the enemies of progress, and we must protect her against the enemies of progress,” he later said.