Tag Archives: ANC Youth League

South Africa –

Mail and Guardian

The ANCYL has elected new leaders in Limpopo, the first time new officials have been chosen since the league was disbanded in 2013.

The ANC youth league in Limpopo has elected new leadership, the first time since it was disbanded by the mother body in 2013. (Gallo)

The ANC Youth League in Limpopo elected its new leadership at its elective conference held outside Tzaneen at the weekend.

The leaders were elected in the early hours of Monday morning after the congress was initially delayed by branches that were unhappy with the way delegates were elected to attend.

It has been almost two years since the youth league had elected officials following the disbanding of its national and provincial leaders in 2013 by the mother body. Task teams had been put in place to rebuild the league’s structures.

Those elected in Limpopo on Monday were:

  • Chairperson: Vincent Shoba;
  • Deputy chairperson: Thandi Moraka;
  • Secretary: David Che Selane;
  • Deputy secretary: Jimmy Machaka; and
  • Treasurer: Miyelani Chauke

‘Highly contested’
Mosa Chabane, the outgoing provincial task team co-ordinator, wished the new leadership well.

“This congress was highly contested, but delegates expressed the spirit of collegiality and were in unison that the youth league would continue to be central to society.”

On Sunday, the task team said the congress was going ahead despite members having interdicted four branches from attending the organisation’s provincial congress.

The interdict was served on four branches from Sekhukhune by members unhappy with how delegates were elected to attend the congress, the task team’s spokesperson, Onicca Moloi, said at the time.

The four branches had been removed from the congress and the ANC’s legal team was dealing with the matter.

The congress was meant to start on Friday but was moved to Saturday.

The national youth league has yet to hold its national elective congress.

Last year, it scheduled an elective conference but at the last minute changed it to a consultative conference, sparking outrage from some delegates.

The youth league’s national task team was disbanded at the end of the conference and provincial leaders were meant to help prepare for the elective conference.

The national elective conference is expected to be held in June. –  News24


South Africa – who will succeed Malema at head of ANC Youth League

Mail and Guardian

ANC Youth League: Meet the lions vying to restore their pride

19 Aug 2014 00:00 Verashni Pillay

Who will replace Julius Malema? Meet the league’s three presidential hopefuls – but don’t be surprised if it isn’t the fresh blood hoped for.

All the contenders for the leadership of the newly constituted ANC Youth League are either previous leaders of the league or the national task team. (Gallo)

Nominations have yet to officially open for national leadership positions for the newly constituted ANC Youth League, but already three clear contenders have emerged.

And while those who have rebuilt the league were hoping to do away with the old leaders and bring in fresh blood, it seems it is set to be more of the same. All the contenders are either previous leaders of the league or the national task team.

Last year the Mail & Guardian reported that the task team was hoping to usher in new blood. “Some of us need to give way for younger generations,” said the task team’s spokesperson, Bandile Masuku. “The older generation like us somehow hamper innovation and dynamism. They hamper progress in a way that we tend to be very conservative.”

Despite an  arduous rebuilding process that involved dissolving practically all structures of the league and holding fresh structures across the board, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Meet the top three contenders for the position of the youth league’s president when the league holds its elections in September this year.

Magasela Mzobe
Mzobe is second in command as co-ordinator of the task team, which was put in place by the ANC in April 2013 to reconstitute the damaged organisation following former president Julius Malema’s term in office.

The names of those on the task team were announced in a press conference in April 2013, which took even some of the members of the team by surprise. Largely untested within the league’s senior leadership structures, the team is made up of low-profile youth league members, albeit ones who have proven themselves in other spheres and structures.

This has not come without challenges, as the task team has had to battle perceptions that they were alternately out of their depth or power-hungry.

Mzobe has borne the brunt of these criticisms since he reportedly put himself forward as a would-be contender for the league’s presidency. Sources in fellow hopeful Pule Mabe’s camp believe that Mzobe has little experience in league branches and a poor track record within his own branch’s activities.

There are also concerns that his role within the task team, which is overseeing the regional and provincial elections running up to the national election, has a disproportionate amount of influence over who will vote in the youth league’s president come September.

But Mzobe’s camp has hit back, pointing out that the ANC runs elections and audits and that it would be very difficult for him to control the process. And if the league needs new blood, Mzobe’s experience outside the organisation makes him fresher than the other contenders, who have all held senior positions in the league previously and were present during the worst of the rot that had to be cleaned out of the organisation.

Originally from Newcastle, Mzobe studied politics, philosophy and public administration at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he obtained a BA in 2006, he told the M&G. He was elected president of the university’s student representative council in 2005.

Mzobe (33) previously served as the secretary general of South African Student Congress (Sasco) around 2008. He went on to work in the office of the mayor in Newcastle and for the KwaZulu-Natal health department, as a manager in their youth affairs department.

Being from KwaZulu-Natal may prove to be a disadvantage, as there are those in the larger mother party who are opposed to the idea of all senior leaders in the party coming from the increasingly influential province. The next ANC president is expected to come from the province, and possibly the next women’s league president too.

Mzobe’s slate proposes another task team member of the league and former Sasco leader, Mawethu Rune, as secretary general.

Pule Mabe
Mabe was the former treasurer general of the youth league during Malema’s time, but managed to turn his political fortunes around by disassociating himself from Malema when he fell out of grace with the ANC, and actively backing Jacob Zuma to return as ANC president at the party’s conference in Mangaung in December 2012.

It partly landed him a coveted position on the ANC’s top decision-making body, the national executive body. He is the youngest member of the ruling party’s national executive committee, and at age 34 this year, just makes the 35 cut-off for the youth league. Thanks to this status and his previous experience, Mabe wields significant political clout and has won the loyalty of key provinces such as Gauteng.

As a former M&G journalist and former government communicator, Mabe has been roped into the ANC communications subcommittee. He is a very savvy politician-cum-businessperson, and owns the publishing company KG Media, which is responsible for a host of transport-related media and activities, including a monthly newspaper, TV programme and training institute.

Mabe’s previous leadership roles included serving as deputy president of the students’ representative council at Technikon Northern Gauteng – now the Tshwane University of Technology – between 1998 and 1999. He also served as a Gauteng youth commissioner between 2003 and 2009.

He is not without controversy of his own, having served in the league when it ran up millions of rands’ worth of debt that went unpaid. The league faced possible insolvency after the national task team took over its affairs, when various creditors came calling for debts incurred during Malema and Mabe’s term in office. The mother party bailed the league out.

Mabe and Mzobe have emerged as the two strongest candidates, despite the fact that Mabe is facing criminal charges.

He was arrested in November last year in connection with illegally soliciting funds from the South African Social Security Agency.

Mabe has previously told the M&G that he is willing to face any court to prove his innocence. He is, however, unable to comment on the allegations facing him as the matter is currently sub judice. “We will clarify ourselves at the right time and on the right platform,” he said.

Ronald Lamola
Lamola was Malema’s former deputy and touted to win as president when the latter was expelled. He has run a surprisingly public campaign, granting interviews about his ambitions to win the league presidency, which has earned him the derision of his competitors.

A lawyer by profession, Lamola grew up on a farm in Mpumalanga as the son of a farmworker. He joined the youth league in 1996 at the age of 14. In 2004, after being enrolled as a student at the University of Venda, he was elected president of the student representative council and later became provincial chairperson of Sasco in Limpopo. He served in the Young Communist League as secretary of the Gert Sibande region between 2008 and 2009, before joining the youth league’s provincial executive committee.

Since the league was disbanded, Lamola has channelled his energies into running his own law firm.

Youth league members say Lamola is just as determined as Malema when it comes to controversial policies such as land expropriation without compensation and the nationalisation of mines. In some cases, Lamola is regarded as being more vociferous than Malema and will offer added impetus to the league’s “economic freedom in our lifetime” programme.

It is not clear how successful Lamola’s campaign will be, given that his own province, Mpumalanga, has allegedly come out in support of Mabe, allegedly at premier David Mabuza’s behest. Lamola’s camp hopes that delegates from the province will still vote for Lamola under cover of their secret vote at the national conference.

Lamola’s camp has blamed their lack of progress so far on a lack of money, which they say Mabe has in plenty, or the power that Mzobe is said to hold over processes. But they believe his presence has been noted.

South Africa – fierce struggle and fraud in vote for leadership of ANC Youth League

Mail and Guardian

The young lions’ internecine squabbles over its leadership elections in the North West have led branch delegates to lobby the ANC for a do-over.

ANCYL branches in the North West have asked Luthuli House to nullify the league’s provincial conference that elected new leaders at the weekend. (Gallo)

ANC Youth League branches in the North West have asked Luthuli House to nullify the league’s provincial conference that elected new leaders at the weekend, amid allegations of vote-rigging and electoral fraud.

A number of youth league members from different regions in North West visited Luthuli House on Monday to register their grievances with the party’s top brass.

They have accused the league’s national task team (NTT) – in particular the national co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe – of being the mastermind behind the alleged vote-rigging. Mzobe is running for the youth league’s presidency. The league will hold its first national elective conference in September, after the axing of its former president Julius Malema (now leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters) and the disbandment of its national executive committee in 2012.

The buildup to the youth league’s national conference next month has been marked by chaotic scenes in some parts of the country.

Two weeks ago, North West MEC for human settlement and local government Collen Maine was allegedly beaten-up by delegates of the Ngaka Modiri Molema regional conference in that province.

In the Sekhukhune region of Limpopo, delegates allegedly refused to continue with a conference that was convened under chaotic conditions with some delegates being declared nonvoting while they claimed to be representatives of their branches.

Formal grievances
A week before the youth league’s provincial conference in the Northern Cape, the house of a co-ordinator of the Frances Baard region was set on fire. But the blaze was extinguished before much damage was caused.

A member of the youth league from the Bojanala region in North West, Thabo Molamu, who was among league members who went to Luthuli House on Monday, said branches decided to approach Luthuli House after their grievances were ignored by the ANC in North West and the league’s national task team.

“We are here [Luthuli House] to raise our concerns about the disputes we submitted prior to provincial and regional conferences. We sent about 10 grievances to the NTT, but they only attended to one – the integration of our membership. Even after that, the task team insisted that we continue with the provincial conference,” said Molamu.

The youth league members were briefly addressed by the minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe, who is also a member of the ruling party’s national working committee. He informed them that Ignatius Jacobs, the general manager in the secretary general’s office, would attend to their complaints and include them in the agenda of the ANC’s national working committee meeting – which was already under way.

Molamu said the disputes by branches ranged from gatekeeping (a process that is intended to sideline some members who hold a different view to those who want to be elected to leadership positions) to the failure to adopt credentials at some regional conferences.

“We have evidence that the entire rebuilding process of the youth league was done in a very wrong way by the task team. They are rigging the entire process. Some of our dispute dates back to January, but they were never attended to,” said Molamu. “The NTT is defying instructions from the ANC to deal with the disputes.”

He said branches would push for the provincial conference to be declared null and void.

“The youth league is currently under the ANC. The ANC must come back and say the task team have defied our processes. We want the ANC to declare the provincial conference null and void because the NTT co-ordinator has shown interest in the leadership process. We don’t have confidence in him.

“When the ANC established the national task team, they said no one must express interests in leadership positions. But Magasela defied that and we don’t think he is capable of leading this process anymore. He is sidelining those who are not supporting him,”  said Molamu. “We are suffering from ill-treatment by the NTT and Magasela.”

Internal disputes
He also accused the ANC in North West – under the leadership of Premier Supra Mahumapelo, who is also the ANC’s provincial chairperson – of being factional, after Mahumapelo allegedly supported the election of Maine as the youth league’s new provincial chairperson.

“The provincial ANC chair and his collective are biased towards one core [faction]. They treat us as if we do not exist. We lost our confidence in them … that is why we approached the national office to intervene,” he said.

Kenny Morolong, the former spin doctor for the party in North West who has also been nominated by some branches to stand for president, said he was disappointed by the manner in which the North West ANC leadership handled the matter.

“We have the utmost respect towards the ANC processes and the ability of the party to resolve these challenges. [But] It is ridiculous for an ANC leader to take a posture and not provide a fair audience to all,” said Morolong, in response to Mahumapelo’s remarks, on national television at the weekend, that he was aware that a group of youth league branches intended to go to Luthuli House to register their grievances.

“This is a reflection of the reality that there are those [in the ANC] who elect to lead a faction and not the entirety of the movement,” said Morolong.

Mzobe was not available for comment this week. But in an interview with the Mail & Guardian last week, he denied accusations of manipulating the youth league audits in the build-up to the congress.

Allegations ‘baseless’
Mzobe said all the auditing was done by the party’s own auditors, who account to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. He played no role in the auditing process, but that of signing off a final audit report, which happens at the very end of an auditing process.

“I hope people aren’t going to suggest that I manipulate the audit team of the ANC,” Mzobe said.

The party’s North West spokesperson, Oupa Matla, described the allegations against Mahumapelo and the ANC in North West as baseless. Matla said if the youth league was unhappy about voting processes, it should approach the task team, not the ANC.

“There is nothing that the ANC can do about their complain. The ANC cannot be seen to be interfering in the affairs of the youth league,” said Matla.

Party spokesperson Keith Khoza said the ANC would investigate all the allegations and take action. – Additional reporting by Andisiwe Makinana

South Africa – push for fraud accused Pule Mabe to lead ANC Youth League

City PressPule Mabe punted as ANCYL bigwig
29 December 2013
The leader of the task team that’s meant to rebuild the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is pushing for fraud accused Pule Mabe to become the revamped league’s president.

The task team is wrought by dissent over Mabe and other issues – for instance, convenor Mzwandile Masina’s suggestion at a recent meeting that President Jacob Zuma be given immunity so that he can’t be prosecuted for anything that happens during his term in office.

Masina, convenor of the league’s national task team (NTT) and a strong Zuma supporter, is said to be positioning Mabe to become president when the league holds its national elective conference in September 2014.

S Africa – controversy over sex harassment charges against ANC YL candidate

Mail and Guardian

Lubabalo Molefe, who is lobbying support for his ANC Youth League presidential candidacy, says charges of sexual harassment against him are bogus.

Lubabalo Molefe. (Facebook)

      Click here   The ANC Youth League prepared to reinvent itself following the disbandment of its national executive committee (NEC) and the appointment of an ANC task team to oversee its renewal.

Among those running for the candidacy of youth league president is senior member Molefe. The Mail & Guardian has learnt that Molefe was dismissed from his position as a senior manager at the state-run Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) following a slew of misconduct allegations, including sexual harassment and defamation.

Amongst the accusations, all of which were denied by Molefe, is the charge that he told a pregnant colleague that she was “a candidate for HIV” because she “clearly does not use a condom”. He was also accused of making unwelcome sexual advances to colleagues and intimidating those who came forward about his alleged behaviour.

But Molefe said that the charges were trumped up because he intended to expose nepotism and tender corruption at the regulator. Molefe intimated that the charges against him were brought by beneficiaries of the alleged nepotism. Molefe’s counter-charges notwithstanding, an urgent application he brought to the Labour Court last week to have his dismissal overturned was rejected with costs. He will now attempt to clear his name at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

The M&G understands that disciplinary proceedings against Molefe were brought in February this year. In early March, allegations against senior RSR officials surfaced in the Star, which included nepotism. The regulator denied the claims.

‘Running away’ Molefe admitted that he was formally charged with sexual harrasment, but said the real reasons for the allegations were “not even related to that”. He said the disciplinary committee later changed the nature of the charges to include dishonesty, but he was fired before the hearing was completed.

“The disciplinary committee is running away because they know I will expose all their nepotism,” he said. Molefe is lobbying support for his planned candidacy and plans to position himself as the Julius Malema antithesis. As a former member of the youth league’s now-disbanded NEC, he plans to campaign on the basis of inclusiveness and non-racialism.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza directed questions to the task team’s convenor, Mzwandile Masina, who said the charges against Molefe “have got nothing to do with the organisation”. The RSR did not respond to questions.

Molefe might be one of the first candidates to openly state his case, but he is up against heavy-weight contenders for the youth league presidency post, such as youth league treasurer general and ANC NEC member Pule Mabe, who is said to have the support of Jacob Zuma.

A date for the election of the youth league’s new leadership has yet to be set by the task team and it remains early days for hopefuls such as Molefe. But he said that he was lobbying branches on the basis that he could position the youth league as an organisation more moderate in its rhetoric, which would include all young South Africans in its vision.

“Malema was more rude than radical. I’m of the opinion that Julius Malema should not have said he was prepared to shoot and kill for Zuma. We fought about that in the youth league NEC. We should be different in terms of radicalisation … It’s about making the ANC’s programme relevant for today and not attacking everybody who speaks. I mean, I would not talk to Naledi Pandor the way that Julius did.”

‘The glue that connects us’ Molefe said: “I will contest [the position] on these conditions: that we agree that the agenda for the renewal of the youth league is the glue that connects us. The youth league has been completely broken by what’s happened – from the branches to the provinces. What we see now is not what it is supposed to be.

“We can’t behave the way we have been and lead the country to ruin, by creating a disconnect in society on the basis of race and name calling. We are looking for a united nation here. We should be architects at that level.”

Molefe said the new youth league needed to respond to the needs of young people born in post-democratic South Africa and be reflective of their demographics.

“We need to stop racialising the youth league and we need to create a platform where all young people can participate,” he said.  m&g

S Africa – ANC leaves big youth names out of Youth League task team

Mail and Guardian

The ANC has intentionally left out big youth league names when selecting the people to rebuild the structure, saying it wanted to “avoid problems”.

      Click here  

At a briefing held at Luthuli House on Wednesday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe revealed the names of the 22 people selected to the task team that will rebuild the ANC Youth League.

Although lacking in big names, the task team is heavy on technically skilled young people, and this appears to have been deliberate.

The executive of the ANC Youth League, which had grown increasingly critical of President Jacob Zuma over the past two years, was disbanded last month, in what some saw as a purge of those who opposed Zuma during the party’s elective conference.

Zuma later said the executive was disbanded on account of “continued ill-disciplined behaviour that brought the organisation into disrepute on numerous occasions”.

The national task team has been given a mandate to perform an assessment of the youth league, building the league at branch, regional and provincial levels, and preparing for a national conference.

Earlier this year interested individuals were asked to submit their CVs to Luthuli House for consideration for selection to the task team.

Mantashe said the team was selected based on their leadership skills, understanding of the ANC and ANC Youth League and their “reputable character”. He did not elaborate on how the members of the task team were selected.

Recycling Mantashe said the national executive council had avoided selecting members who have been in leadership positions of the ANC Youth League at national level.

“We have avoided massive recycling of the past leadership. We said lets avoid that, it will create problems for us,” he said.

Mantashe also refrained from including youth league members who were now campaigning for the vacant positions.

“We also want to allow space to those who want to stand at the next national conference to do their ground work without the burden of being in the interim structure,” he said.

The task team includes Shaka Sisulu, son of the speaker for Parliament Max Sisulu, a radio presenter, business graduate and founder of a youth-focused nongovernmental organisation, and Braam Hanekom, a refugee rights advocate and the founder of the NGO People against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty. He is also the nephew of Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom.

Other memebers ​Several members are drawn from organisations such as the Young Communist League, South African Students Congress and the South African Youth Council.

The task team will be headed by Mzwandile Masina, who will serve as convenor. Masina is an ANC member from Ekhuruleni, recently named head of the Gauteng Film Commission.

Magasela Mzobe, a youth league member from KwaZulu-Natal and former secretary general of the South African Students Congress, who now works with the provincial health department, will serve as the group’s coordinator.

The task team will work closely with three members of the party’s national executive committee – Mcebisi Skwatsha, David Mahlobo and Pinky Moloi – to fulfill its mandate.

“All three of them are graduates of the ANC Youth League and therefore have a depth of understanding of the youth league,” he said.

One of the issues that the task team would address is the verification of membership.

“[This] will also ensure that we deal with the culture that has crept into the movement of bulk buying of membership in preparation for conferences in order to increase the opportunity for members to be elected,” he said.

Restoring the youth league Deputy secretary general of the ANC Jessie Duarte also said that the task team would also concern itself with restoring the youth league organisationally.

“Our assessment is that at the level of branches throughout the country there are quite strong branches of the youth league, although we need to do proper auditing of those branches. The regions of the youth league and the sub-regions of the youth league will need some attention of the [national task team],” she said.

Political analyst Steven Friedman said the NEC was “clearly trying to develop a neutral technical finding committee that respects the NEC” and that the nature of the makeup of the task team showed an attempt to “depoliticise” the incident

This tactic was “dubious”, he said, as the problems that plagued the youth league for the past few years were merely being deferred.

“The problem [with the youth league] was particularly nasty form of factional politics in which if you were of a particular faction, it was fine to use every method, fair or unfair use of money, chasing opponents out of halls and ignoring court orders. And that’s what’s got to be cleaned up,” he said.

“The obvious question is, is a group of fairly unknown youth league members and middle-ranking NEC members able to sort out that problem? I don’t think it would,” he said.

Still members Analyst Ebrahim Fakir pointed out that while the NEC precluded existing members of the youth league’s executive from the task team, this did not mean they could not hold positions again in future.

“Some of those people may still want to contest the election. Many of them remain members of the youth league,” he said.

He also warned that the task team in itself was unlikely to be able to change the political culture entrenched at the youth league, typified by factionalism, the seeking of personal enrichment and promises of political office down the line.

“No task team no matter how strong and good they are can change the culture of a political party,” he said.

“Political culture is never changed by a blunt instrument like a task team.”

Instead, he said, two changes needed to be addressed before change could be seen in the youth league: a moral and ethical change in the league and the party, and a societal change, which would ensure that social mobility and a decent life can be attained through professional and technical skills, instead of merely through politics.  M&G

S Africa – Malema loses farm, influence and reputation

Mail and Guardian

Julius Malema’s failure to hang on to his own farm might finally have sunk his reputation – and an important lightning rod with it.

Julius Malema’s farm has been seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit after charges of money laundering were laid against him. (Gallo)

      Click here   

In the latter years of his reign especially, people listened when Julius Malema talked, privileged and poor both. He filled township stadiums as easily as he did press conferences and though he would sometimes carry on for hours, he had the kind of unwavering attention most politicians can only dream of.

“Julius Malema, he must come here, he must see how we live and help us.”

That quote happens to come from Themb’elihle, a township near Lenasia in Gauteng in late 2011 but the sentiment was shared by many communities in protest – pretty much all of them except those in the Northern and Western Cape, where he was not quite so well trusted. Across the rest of the country he was the young revolutionary who cared about the people, who had the ear of the president – or, perhaps, had the president by the short and curlies – and the ability to bring change where local councillors, national departments, provincial governments and the legislature failed.

Younger people seemed to believe implicitly in Malema-magic: he would, somehow, bring the electricity, water, houses and jobs that were denied them. The older generation, including community leaders, were somewhat more cynical. Malema, they knew, could focus more attention than blocking roads and burning tyres. Such attention might or might not result in change, but heck, it was worth a try.

Then Malema’s political career imploded and those communities – still without the services they believe they are due – were left without even a theoretical champion. The end came in increments and with confirmation on Tuesday that he lost even his prized Polokwane farm, there was no longer any doubt in the minds of the masses he valued more: Malema’s time was over.

No outlet spells trouble Perhaps a replacement will arise, a new young-lion-in-chief they can believe in. Perhaps Malema himself will find some kind of platform again.

Regardless, until the ANC Youth League is again on a firm enough footing to put forward somebody in the mould of Malema, or his predecessor Fikile Mbalula, a volatile section of South Africa’s society is without a lightning rod.

For at least some communities in protest between 2010 and late 2012, Malema was half their hope for the future. The other half, some kind of major shift at the ANC’s big Mangaung conference, came to an even stickier end than Malema’s political career. For some he was the seed that would bring radically socialist policies to the ANC in the short term, for others he was a future president who would, in the fullness of time, realise their aspirations. Whatever the flavour of belief, it boiled down to an expectation of a better life.

Now Malema stands exposed as a hypocrite and a thief in the eyes of some, or as a victim of a political conspiracy in the eyes of other. Whether they see false idol or persecuted hero, though, the result is again the same – dashed hopes.

Could those hopes be transferred to other figures within government or the ANC?

‘Everyone in the ANC is corrupt’ “Everyone in the ANC is corrupt,” says a mid-ranking organiser from Themb’elihle. “They kicked out the man who was with the people.”

Could an opposition party or a grass-roots organisation, provide the leadership now lacking?

“The ANC runs the country, runs the province, runs the metro,” says a one-time protest leader from Thembisa. “We talk to these other people but they can only talk, they can’t do.”

Neither leader can predict how their constituents will react to the loss of Malema, to the loss of faith. But what they have seen so far is that disillusionment morphs into anger.

Whatever or whomever else Malema might have been, he in a sense acted as a buffer against that anger. But he will be able to do that no more. m&g