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Mbalula on his relationship with Malema: ‘We shared a good friendship, and that still remains’

Fikile Mbalula and Julius Malema are friends despite their political differences.
Fikile Mbalula and Julius Malema are friends despite their political differences.
Image: Julius Malema/Twitter

They may not always see eye-to-eye when it comes to politics, but the friendship between transport minister Fikile Mbalula and EFF leader Julius Malema is real and solid.

Speaking on 702 this week, Mbalula opened up his friendship with the EFF leader, saying they are far from enemies.

“Julius is my friend. We lived together for a long time and we transcended comradeship to become friends - meaning I know his family, he knows my family, he knows my wife and I know his wife. I know his kids, he knows my kids,” said Mbalula.

Mbalula said the friendship between goes beyond politics and they hardly ever talk about politics when they are together.

“We rarely discuss politics when are together. We talk about life, laugh and reminisce about the past because we shared a good friendship, and that still remains.

“It was battered, that friendship, to a certain extent - but it is durable because it never dies, it’s still there. I don’t agree with the EFF on certain things and politically he doesn’t agree with the ANC where he is,” said Mbalula.

The pair have known each other since their days as members of the ANC Youth League, before Malema formed his own political party in 2013.

In the past, they have publicly taken jabs at each other over issues.

In 2019, Mbalula threw shade at Malema for poor attendance at one of his campaign events and EFF supporters slammed Mbalula for being “obsessed with the party”.

Later that month, Malema slammed Mbalula after he accused sportscaster Robert Marawa of “marketing” his party during the Soweto derby.

Mbalula said the ANC would not fly over the FNB Stadium and accused Marawa of promoting the EFF during the soccer match. 

Malema jumped in on the exchange, telling Mbalula to stop “embarrassing” himself.

In April the same year, Malema threatened to share pictures of Mbalula that would make him “regret the day he was born” after the transport minister boasted about a selfie.

Last year, Malema and Mbalula shared a hilarious exchange on Twitter about the minister's matching “five piece” outfit.

Malema thought Mbalula was being extra with the matching outfit as he commented “Bafanas, ka five-piece including other things”. 

Mbalula clarified the outfit was in fact a six-piece, including his hair.

“Covid is temporary, drip is forever,” Mbalula joked at the time.

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