Southe Africa plunges into political crisis as Malema and Zuma converge




Former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema enjoy a pot of tea at Nkandla yesterday. Picture: Twitter / EFF

Durban – What was billed as one of the grandest political events of the year so far has plunged South Africans into a state of confusion after details of Friday’s meeting between EFF leader Julius Malema and former president Jacob Zuma were kept a closely guarded secret.

Arriving in a helicopter shortly before 1pm at Zuma’s home village of Nkandla, 215km from Durban, Malema and his entourage – including former EFF chairperson advocate Dali Mpofu, party spokesperson Vuyani Pambo and close Zuma ally and Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina – were whisked away from the helipad several metres outside the former head of state’s vast homestead into the controversial R246 million Zuma home.

Also among the visitors was ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni. While Masina has been a vocal supporter of Zuma’s, Yengeni’s presence is sure to raise some eyebrows within the ruling party.

The travelling party remained enclosed inside Zuma’s home, otherwise known as Kwadakwudunuse, for close to five hours before emerging in black luxurious German sedans that whisked them to the helipad before flying into the Nkandla sunset as they departed.

The meeting comes in the wake of the 78-year-old former head of state blatantly defying to adhere to the Constitutional Court’s judgment ordering him to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Addressing the media outside Zuma’s homestead afterwards, Pambo said the meeting had gone well but did not disclose further details to the gathering of reporters.

Pambo said there had not been a theme for the meeting put out to the public or media, but the agenda between the former leader of the ANC Youth League and the former ANC and state president was tea.

EFF leader Julius Malema leaves the Nkandla homestead after his tea meeting. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)

Pambo said the media had not been invited to Nkandla, and they were only talking to the media as a courtesy.

“The meeting went very well, the tea was nice and sweet, very hot. So you know the practice of having tea is such that it’s a slow process, you can’t just gulp it like you drink other things so you have to take your time,” was all Pambo would tell the media.

The meeting between the two former leaders of the ANC garnered much interest on social media.

Vuyani Phambo, national EFF spokesperson, addressing the media outside former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)

Earlier in the day, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Zuma should be given time and allowed space as he was being counselled by different people following his statement in which he defied the Constitutional Court’s judgment ordering to appear before the Zondo Commission.