Julius Malema phenomenon: A view from within
Julius Malema, the fiery ANC Youth League leader, is indeed a post-apartheid phenomenon. He broke into the South African national scene in 2007 and in four short years, he shot up the charts to become one of the best known personalities in Southern Africa and beyond. On occasion, it was alleged that he was better known than his country’s president.
On his way to the top, Malema’s political persona turned out to be a “mixed bag. ” For those that he liked, he did so profoundly and unconditionally; his allies could do no wrong. Those that he disliked, he loathed. And his love-hate index was depended on the political leanings of the person in question.
Not so long ago, Jacob Zuma was Malema’s political darling. From the start of their political relationship, they fought side by side to ensure that Zuma’s ascent to power in 2009 went unhindered. So aggressive and thorough was Malema at his job that he earned the honor of the dubious title of “Zuma’s bulldog-in-chief. ”