What would've happened had Juju stayed in the ANC like Ronald Lamola?

EFF leader Julius Malema
EFF leader Julius Malema
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

With the re-emergence of 35-year-old Ronald Lamola who was at one point suspended from the ANC during its crisis of identity, a re-emergence of great significance, not only due to the position he has been given in the structures of the ANC as an NEC member, but also that which he has been given to lead one of the most demanding portfolios in government.

One can be forgiven when one's mind digresses and dwells on what could've happened had Julius Malema taken a leaf out of Lamola's book and stayed within the ANC.

Many may remember Malema's famous words "My blood is black, green and gold. I will die in the ANC.

I will stay and sleep here, outside the gate of the ANC. My umbilical cord was buried here in the ANC," he said in 2012.

This was at the height of the discontent from the youth league over the ANC's resistance to policy change.

Lamola was besides him as his deputy with the two occupying the highest positions in the ANCYL structures.

Fast forward to 2013, Malema opens his party the EFF, the colours of which, if one were to be overzealous with their description, depicted the blood which Malema shed as he and the ANCYL were being sacrificed by the ANC hierarchy to give life to a toothless lion cub which could not even roar as the youth league previously could to deafening consequences.

Those were the days of a degenerating ANC that looked out of sorts with reality. Those were the times of an ANC that rejected the constitution by flaunting court judgments and chapter nine institutions directives.

Today, we have an ANC that looks ready to regenerate, an ANC that looks ready to introduce corrective measures to make up for the ills of its recent past.

It must not be forgotten that only a few years ago the same ANC locked out Lamola from Irene country lodge as he staged a near lone-man protest in an effort to "save the soul of the ANC" as he called it. Few years later, he becomes a minister in the government of the same ANC.

He is also one of the protagonists for the regeneration of the ANC, while those who shunned him not long ago are his biggest praise singers today .

Today I let my mind to wander to think if Malema had stayed true to his 2012 commitment to die within the ANC, would the same fate have befell him? We must remember that Malema joined the ANC struggle as a nine-year-old and thus abandoned school as he felt the Struggle was more important.

We must also not forget that even after democracy, life within the ANC is a perpetual struggle as many dwell on the victories of the past, neglecting the ever presented reality that befalls our people on a daily basis.

Elon Mogale , Ivy Park, Polokwane

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