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Malema’s recent outburst in parliament may be a ‘game changer’

Julius Malema. Image at Leadership Platform

“Julius Malema eats, drinks and sleeps South African politics. It doesn’t matter that he got a G in woodwork because he knows this game better than anyone else around,” stated Richard Poplak, the acclaimed journalist, at the Stellenbosch University on Monday.

Poplak was promoting his new book, Until Julius Comes, which documents the South African 2014 elections and features Julius Malema and the EFF as the main protagonists.

Poplak’s book release coincides with the controversial disruption in parliament on Thursday last week where EFF members were kicked out of parliament for chanting, “Pay back the money”.

The outburst was against President Jacob Zuma and the fraudulent allegations surrounding his homestead, Nkandla. This action, according to Poplak, could be a ‘game changer’.

“We cannot underestimate how powerful that performance was in parliament last week. On Thursday Julius Malema did something that has been passed around the country, he stood up to the bad guys and gave them hell right in the big house,” stated Poplak.

“The idea of representation [of the public] suddenly switched and people realised they have a voice, and that voice is Julius Malema.”

Richard Poplak at Stellenbosch University

Richard Poplak at Stellenbosch University

Wearing a black beanie and a shaggy beard, Poplak spoke of the rising popularity of the charismatic Malema and the crucial role he plays in the party’s success.

“He [Malema] is the star, if he’s gone, what’s left? This question is pretty serious because at this point without him there is no movement.”

The EFF won 6.35 percent of the votes in the national elections. The EFF still needs to produce an in-depth policy document clearly stating what their future intentions and guidelines will be.

“Right now it’s like a Pink Floyd light show, everything looks great but at some point there has to be something underpinning it. It can’t all be Marxist rhetoric and red onesies.”

The 2016 municipal elections will be the next test for the EFF. Poplak predicts that they will show a massive upscale in the polls and that the DA will also have a surge in votes.

Poplak has been trailing the EFF and their rise to parliament over the past year and hypothesized what could happen if the EFF took power of the country.

“With what I understand of the EFF policies currently, there would most likely be a massive capital flight out of the country and a lot of white people would run screaming to O.R Tambo or Cape Town International airports clutching their cutlery.”

Until Julius Comes documents the political complexity of the new South Africa. Poplak, acting under the pseudonym “Hannibal Elector”, will continue to document Malema and the EFF going forward.