They say it never rains but it pours. Ask expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. Not long after the ANC NEC said it had closed the matter on his expulsion and wouldn’t even discuss it at the national policy conference in December, he was slapped by a high court order to apologise to Western Cape Premier and DA leader Helen Zille for calling her names back in 2009.
Zille had taken Malema to court for referring to her executive council as a “group of racist Hellen Zille garden boys” while addressing a rally in KwaZulu-Natal in 2009. At the same event, he also labeled Zille a “colonialist” and “racist”.
Cape High Judge Lee Bozalek ruled that Malema and suspended league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu – who had called Zille a “racist girl” and a “sick woman” – were jointly liable for the Western Cape Premier’s legal costs.
It's been reported that the two have apologised for their actions and have retracted the defamatory statements they directed towards Zille. But was Malema’s apology sincere? Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni seems to think the embattled ANCYL firebrand has his back against the wall. He says Malema did a sensible thing by withdrawing and apologising to Zille.
“Zille, as leader of the DA, has sufficient legal resources to see the case to the end while Malema, on the other hand, would have had to use personal resources as an individual,” Fikeni says.
However, Fikeni warned that Malema shouldn’t be ruled out completely. “Julius [Malema] would be strong as the platform he’s allowed by the ANC, he would be strong as the youth league supports him…”