Home Opinion and Features Nkandla tea party: Common foes brought Zuma and Malema together, says analyst

Nkandla tea party: Common foes brought Zuma and Malema together, says analyst


Political analyst Dr Ntsikelelo Breakfast said while EFF leader Julius Malema had said much about former president Jacob Zuma in the past, there was a common foe for the two – President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema enjoy a pot of tea at Nkandla. This picture was posted on the EFF Twitter account.

“THE ENEMY of my enemy is my friend” – it appears the ancient proverb rang true for two political heavyweights, former president Jacob Zuma and commander-in-chief of the EFF, Julius Malema, who met “for tea” last week.

And who is their common enemy? It could very well be President Cyril Ramaphosa.

On Friday, Malema flew to Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal. The visit was preceded by an exchange on Twitter where @Julius_Sello_Malema tweeted @PresJGZuma: “can we please have tea urgently?” @PresJGZuma then responded: “Thobela Moshabi. I have seen your request to share a cup of tea. As you know, Nkandla village is home for me and that is where my time is spent these days. Tea I have plenty of, you are more than welcome to come over for a cup.”

Political analyst Dr Ntsikelelo Breakfast said that while Malema had said much about Zuma in the past, there was a common denominator between the two – Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

“Zuma has not forgotten the past and had it not been for Zuma, Malema would not have been removed from the ANCYL. However, Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordhan remain the common denominator between the two. They will put their differences aside,” Breakfast said.

Breakfast said the question to be asked now was, “does this pose a threat to South Africa, and should Ramaphosa be concerned?”

He said it was not easy for Zuma to now be out of power and there was a push for the forces of radical economic transformation to bounce back into power.

“If this happens, the charges against Zuma will never be pursued. This could be a strategy where they will collaborate and use Parliament as their battleground. However, Covid-19 could save Ramaphosa as due to safety protocols Parliament has not had a sitting,” he said.

Breakfast said he believed that the meeting between Zuma and Malema was not a spontaneous one.

EFF leader Julius Malema leaves Nkandla homestead after his meeting over tea with former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)

“This (arrangements for meeting) could have been happening in private, and when it was shared on social media, the media went overboard and played into Zuma and Malema’s hands. This can be seen as psychological warfare,” Breakfast said.

Meanwhile, professor of political studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Lawrence Hamilton, dismissed the “tea party” as nothing more than a publicity stunt.

He added that it proved how Malema “is capable of blowing whichever way the wind blows”.

Hamilton said it could also been seen as Malema using the opportunity to garner support in KZN, a province he has little support in.

“We could just look it as a cabal of corrupt politicians having tea,” Hamilton said.

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