|Birth Day:||March 3, 1981|
|Birth Place:||Seshego, South Africa|
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He rose to prominence as the leader of the African National Congress, one of its three main political parties, and was called the 'future leader' of the country.
Malema was elected a chairman of the Youth League branch in Seshego and the regional chairman in 1995. In 1997 he became the chairman of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) for the Limpopo province, and was elected as the national president of that organisation in 2001. In 2002, Malema led a COSAS march by school pupils, through Johannesburg; the march was marked by incidents of violence and looting.
Malema was elected as the president of the ANC Youth League in April 2008, receiving 1,833 votes to Saki Mofokeng's 1,696 votes. The election – and the conference – were characterized by intimidation, fraud and which Malema himself later described as "unbecoming conduct".
In September 2009 Malema threatened to mobilise people to withdraw their Nedbank accounts after the bank decided to withdraw its sponsorship from Athletics South Africa (ASA). Although Nedbank argued that the decision was made after dissatisfaction with the delivery of previous events, Malema suggested the withdrawal was related to current controversy around ASA's President Leonard Chuene, who admitted he had been informed about the gender test which concluded that athletic Caster Semenya is an intersex person, but neglected to withdraw her from the World Championships where she won a gold medal.
Reports regarding Malema's possible involvement in state tenders (contracts) began appearing in November 2009. Questions about his personal lifestyle were raised by the South African media. Some analysts suggest this is also known as being a tenderpreneur, which is the early emergence of a form of kleptocracy, or predatory behaviour by a clique in the ruling elite, to generate personal wealth by capturing resources.
Malema graduated from Mohlakaneng High School, Seshego, Limpopo. In 2010, he completed a two-year diploma in youth development through the University of South Africa (UNISA). In 2011, he enrolled at UNISA for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and African Languages, and graduated in March 2016. In 2017, he obtained a BA (Honours) in Philosophy from UNISA. He is currently studying for a Master's degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.
On 3 April 2010, Malema visited Zimbabwe, in what was described as a visit on indigenisation. He was expected to meet the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Upon landing in Harare, Malema was greeted by Zanu-PF supporters as well as Zimbabwe's Youth and Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, and ZANU-PF Youth Chairman Absolom Sikhosana, as well as Zimbabwean business figures who had risen to prominence in recent years.
On 8 April 2010, at a Johannesburg media briefing covering his visit to Zimbabwe, Malema was involved in an incendiary incident with Jonah Fisher, a BBC journalist. Malema had been criticising the Movement for Democratic Change for having offices in affluent Sandton, when BBC journalist Jonah Fisher commented that Malema himself lived in Sandton. Malema lashed out at Fisher after the latter dismissed Malema's comments as rubbish.
On 10 April 2010, at a news conference in Durban, where he characterised Malema's conduct as "alien to the ANC", President Jacob Zuma publicly criticised Malema's behaviour saying "the manner in which a BBC journalist was treated at an ANC Youth League press conference is regrettable and unacceptable, regardless of any alleged provocation on his part", and said he had spoken to Malema about his conduct by telephone. Malema remained defiant after Zuma's rebuke.
On 18 April 2010, it was reported that Malema faced disciplinary procedures by the ANC for bringing it and the government into disrepute. The charges related to:
Malema faced a "hostile" disciplinary committee on 3 May 2010. On 11 May 2010, Malema entered into a plea bargain, and three of the charges against him were dropped (the attack on the BBC journalist, his endorsement of Mugabe, and his singing of "Shoot the Boer" after it was banned). He pleaded guilty to criticising Zuma after Zuma publicly censured him, and was ordered by the disciplinary committee to make a public apology for his conduct, fined R10,000 which was to be donated to a youth development project, and to attend anger management classes. He was also warned of suspension from the ANC if he re-offended within two years. Malema complied, apologising "unconditionally", stating that he accepted that his "conduct and public utterances should at all times reflect respect and restraint".
He then advocated the seizure of land without compensation and the removal of the "willing buyer, willing seller" principle. At a 16 June Youth Day celebration, Malema accused white South Africans of "stealing land" and again advocated for the redistribution of land without compensation. In April 2010 Malema led a youth delegation to Venezuela to study that country's nationalisation programme.
In early 2010, Malema urged ANC Youth League members to join the South African National Defence Force, and said that there were plans for the Youth League leadership to join the reservist programme. The military training was confirmed in May 2010, with the naval training due to commence in September 2010.
In March 2010, in what was widely held to be a rebuke of Malema, the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) lashed out at the "new culture of public feuds, insults and personal attacks" and adopted a policy of disciplining those who became involved in public disputes with members of the governing ANC-SACP-COSATU alliance.
Malema's bid for a second term as Youth League president received a boost in 2010 when a number of Eastern Cape ANC Youth League regional conferences in the Eastern Cape elected candidates remained loyal to him, although there were some allegations of irregularities from Malema's opponents.
In March 2010, addressing the allegations at a rally at a university campus, Malema, sang the struggle song "shoot the Boer" (see below), and lashed out at opposition politicians. He attacked COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. In August 2010, the Public Protector released a report which cleared Malema of involvement in state tenders in Limpopo. The report was received with scepticism in some quarters.
On 15 March 2010, Malema was convicted of hate speech by the Equality Court of South Africa, fined R50 000 and ordered to apologise unconditionally, following a 2009 incident when he told a group of Cape Town students at a South African Students' Congress (SASCO) meeting that the woman who accused President Zuma of rape had a "nice time" with him because in the morning she had "requested breakfast and taxi money".
In March 2010, at a rally on a university campus Malema sang the lyrics "shoot the Boer" (Dubul' ibhunu) from the anti-apartheid song "Ayasab' amagwala" (The cowards are scared). "Boer" is the Afrikaans word for "farmer", but is also used as a term for any Afrikaans-speaking white person. His singing was compared to similar chants by deceased Youth League leader Peter Mokaba in the early 1990s, to "kill the Boer", which had previously been defined as hate speech by the South African Human Rights Commission. Malema's singing of the song led to a barrage of complaints against him, both to the police, and to the commission. The ANC said "We wouldn't appreciate any statements against any member of our society, including whites... they are also South Africans", however, it "had not taken a decision in the matter".
The South Gauteng High Court ruled on 26 March 2010 that the song (which Malema had continued singing at public gatherings) was "unconstitutional and unlawful", and that any person singing it could face charges of incitement to murder, stating that the song called for the killing of the "farmer/white man"; however the ANC defended the song. The ANC announced it would appeal the ruling.
On 1 April 2010, the North Gauteng High Court granted an interdict preventing Malema from publicly uttering the words of this or any other song which could be considered to be "instigating violence, distrust and/or hatred between black and white citizens in the Republic of South Africa" until the matter was heard by the Equality Court, to which the case was referred by the presiding judge.
Between 2010 and 2013 popular media have referred to the Malema Dilemma to describe the duality between Malema's electoral popularity and the consequences of his controversial statements.
Malema was later re-elected unopposed for a second term on 17 June 2011 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand when Lebogang Maile, the only opposing nominee, declined the nomination.
On 30 August 2011 Malema was subjected to a disciplinary hearing by the ANC. His supporters held a rally in the center of Johannesburg that turned into a violent confrontation. Some protesters held placards with slogans like "South Africa for blacks only", which caused many disapproving reactions from the black community. Malema submitted an application to have all charges against him revoked. The ANC National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) met on 31 August 2011 and 1 September to deliberate on this application. The ruling was delivered at 9:00 a.m. on 2 September 2011. The NDC dismissed Malema’s application to have the charges quashed.
On 10 November 2011, Malema was found guilty of contravening Rules 25.5(c) and (i) of the ANC Constitution for expressing views at a press conference of the ANC Youth League on 31 July 2011 "which sought to portray the ANC government and its leadership under President Zuma in a negative light in relation to the African agenda and which had the potential to sow division and disunity in the ANC, and for expressing his personal views on Botswana which contravened ANC policy." Malema stated that his league would establish a "Botswana command team", which would work towards uniting all opposition forces in Botswana to oppose what he had called the puppet regime led by the Botswana Democratic Party. Malema was suspended from the ANC for five years.
In April 2011 Afriforum brought a case of hate speech against Malema in regard to the song and several notable ANC figures such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and secretary-general Gwede Mantashe supported him in the court battle. Aggressive and patronising questioning of black witnesses by lawyers for the Afrikaner groups bringing the suit reportedly allowed Malema to portray himself as a victim of white persecution.
On 12 September 2011, Malema was convicted of hate speech.
He was listed in Time's Least Influential People of 2010, whereas conversely Forbes magazine named him as one of the "10 Youngest Power Men In Africa" in September 2011. Writing in the Sowetan, Andile Mngxitama described Malema as "an opportunist who raised these issues [nationalisation, land reform etc], not to solve them, but to trick the poor who have been waiting for a better life for all for almost 20 years now under your party's rule ... Instead of leading the new struggle as a selfless leader of the poor, you only pay lip service to the plight of our people while you amass great amounts of wealth through your political influence."
On 29 February 2012, the National Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Derek Hanekom, announced the results of their review from Luthuli House. In their statement the NDC characterised the relationship between the ANC and the three respondents as "contractual in nature", bound by a "membership oath". It goes on to state that the respondents "were fully aware of the provisions of the ANC Constitution; they considered themselves bound by the ANC Constitution and they undertook to respect the ANC Constitution and its structures." The report characterised Malema as a repeat offender who was unrepentant and did not accept the findings of the disciplinary machinery of the ANC. Their conclusion in respect of Malema was:
The NDC expelled Malema from the ANC, ordered him to vacate his position as President of the ANC Youth League, but gave him leave to appeal to the NDCA against sanction within 14 days. On 24 April 2012 the appeal process ended when the NDCA confirmed his expulsion with immediate effect.
Malema visited Zimbabwe in October 2012 to attend a wedding and to address the ZANU-PF Youth wing. Johannesburg's Mail and Guardian quoted the Zimbabwean Herald Online in a story, saying Malema had told the meeting: "He said the youths in South Africa were calling for whites to surrender land and minerals resources they hold because when they came from Europe they did not carry any land into South Africa."
A warrant was issued for Malema's arrest in September 2012 on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption, in relation to a government contract. The warrant was reportedly issued following an investigation into a tender awarded in 2010 to EduSolutions, to distribute textbooks to students in Limpopo. An investigation into the incident was launched by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), SA Revenue Service (Sars) and the elite police unit, the Hawks, following the discovery of dumped textbooks near a dam in Giyani.
On 26 September 2012, Malema was charged with money laundering, relating to his awarding of lucrative government contracts in Limpopo in return for an alleged R4 million in kickbacks. After a hearing at the court in Polokwane, he was granted bail of R10 000.
In June 2013 Malema started canvassing for his political party called the Economic Freedom Fighters. The South African president Jacob Zuma, at a meeting with the SA National Editors' Forum, stated that the ruling party does not see this development as a threat. While still on trial for money laundering and racketeering charges Malema started appealing for funds for the new political party.
Malema's visit to Nigerian 'Prophet' T.B. Joshua for 'spiritual blessings' in August 2013 with some EFF members also elicited controversy and media attention.
In 2013 Malema faced charges of tax evasion to the amount of R16 million after it was revealed that he was linked to companies that obtained other lucrative contracts from the Limpopo government. The case was based on payments made to the Ratanang Family Trust, but Malema reached a compromise with the revenue service in 2014. In 2016 the revenue service claimed that Malema breached the terms of the agreement, and that he was owing R18 million for arrears on his taxes, besides R2 million in interest for the 2005 to 2011 tax years. Malema countered that the Limpopo property deal did not go through and that he had settled all his debts based on the 2014 agreement, and owed nothing.
In December 2013, Malema was arrested for allegedly speeding 215 km/h in a 120 km/h zone in his BMW along the N1 near Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng. He was released on R5,000 bail.
In February 2013 it was reported that Malema's property would be auctioned off to pay a R16.1 million debt he owed the South African Revenue Service, after he failed to meet payment deadlines for unpaid taxes. Malema entered into a further deal to pay back the money, however, this deal collapsed in March 2015, after Malema failed once again to pay.
The EFF won 25 seats in the National Assembly in the 2014 general election. Malema was sworn in as a member of parliament on 21 May 2014. Malema was dismissed from the National Assembly on 19 June 2014 after refusing to withdraw a remark he made on 18 June 2014 accusing the ANC government of murdering the miners involved in the Marikana miners' strike.
Malema is known for his oratory skills. He married his long-time girlfriend in a private ceremony under heavy security in his hometown Seshego in 2014. Their first son Munzhedzi was born in 2016. Their second son Kopano was born in 2018. Malema also has a son named Ratanang from a previous relationship with Maropeng Ramohlale.
As an elected MP, Malema has been publicly critical of President Zuma, especially as regards the ANC leader's alleged corruption with respect to the Nkandla scandal. On 12 February 2015, Malema, together with other members of the EFF, was forcibly removed from the State of the Nation address, when Malema interrupted Zuma to question whether he would pay back part of the $23 million in taxpayer funds he used to build a private residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. Malema responded to being ejected, suggesting South Africa had become, or was becoming, a police state.
In an interview with the international news broadcaster Al Jazeera English and broadcast on 24 April 2016 Malema stated that should the ruling ANC continue to act violently against protests, “we [the EFF] will remove this government through the barrel of a gun”. He went on to accuse the ANC of losing the 2014 elections in Gauteng province and rigging them so as to win. Following these remarks the ANC opened a case of treason with the South African Police Service against Malema for making the comments.
Malema stated at a political rally in 2016, “[the EFF] are not calling for the slaughter of white people‚ at least for now." The Democratic Alliance and the group AfriForum criticised him for "violent and threatening language", while the ANC declined to comment, saying "he was addressing his own party supporters."
On 23 August 2018, Malema spoke out against the white genocide conspiracy theory and was critical of comments made by United States President Donald Trump, after he had instructed his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate South African farm attacks. Claiming it was "absolute rubbish to say there's white genocide", Malema said that "South Africans would not be intimidated by Mr Trump" and that the US President's intervention into their domestic land rights issues "only made them more determined".
In June 2018, Malema gained additional notoriety when he was asked whether he was responsible for organizing gang members to murder white farmers, and responded "Maybe. Maybe not."
Malema stated at another political rally in 2018, "We are starting with this whiteness. We are cutting the throat of whiteness", in the context of plans to remove DA-affiliated Athol Trollip from his position as mayor of Nelson Mandela Municipality. DA leader Mmusi Maimane labelled Malema's words "racist attacks" and "racist hatred", which he claimed "most people reject".
Following the 2019 death of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Malema tweeted a number of controversial quotes from the late Mugabe that were racially prejudiced towards white people. Most notable was the quote that "The only white man you can trust is a dead white man". The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) condemned the quote and stated that they would be taking Malema to court for allegedly spreading hate speech.
On 4 May 2019, on the eve of the Economic Freedom Fighters' final rally ahead of the 8th May South African General Elections, Malema's grandmother, Koko Sarah, who brought him up following the death of his mother, died after a short illness.
Currently, Julius Malema is 41 years, 3 months and 25 days old. Julius Malema will celebrate 42nd birthday on a Friday 3rd of March 2023.
Find out about Julius Malema birthday activities in timeline view here.