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Helen Zille: ‘If you want a cult look at Julius Malema’

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. File photo.
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille has again taken shots at the EFF and its leader Julius Malema, describing the party as a “cult” and Malema as its cult leader. 

In an interview with JJ Tabane this week, Zille heavily criticised Malema’s leadership. 

Speaking about the alleged "crises" within her party, Zille drew comparisons with the EFF and claimed the difference between the DA and the EFF is that the latter is run by a dictator.

“If you want a cult look at Julius Malema,” said Zille. “Julius Malema was upset by how the EFF did in Limpopo and he fired the whole Limpopo [provincial leadership]. What the EFF has got is a dictatorship problem and that is what a cult is.”

Malema disbanded the EFF Limpopo provincial leadership in January after a decline in votes for the party in the province.

Zille said Malema’s word in the EFF is final and its caucus can’t differ from it.

“If John Steenhuisen had to say to a DA caucus you will now vote for the EFF, it would turn and say ‘are you mad?.’ But Julius Malema can go to an entire EFF caucus and say ‘you’re now going to vote for a DA mayor’ and they do. He runs an autocracy and we run a democracy.”

Zille also accused ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba of being similar, saying he was recruiting politicians who are from parties that are run democratically and they will soon “bump heads". 

Last year, Zille compared Malema to Hitler.

She was reacting to claims that the DA was out of line when it compared EFF members who protested at Brackenfell High School to Nazis. 

Speaking in a podcast series by former Financial Mail editor Peter Bruce, Podcasts from the Edge, Zille said the DA was accurate and profound in its statement.

“What the red shirts in SA are doing is precisely what the brown shirts did in the Weimar Republic. It is no stretch at all. That is how Hitler built his support and this is how Julius Malema is building his support. As Churchill said, people who will not learn from history are bound to repeat it.”


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