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Holomisa says call for him and Malema to rejoin ANC is a ‘big no’

Several top ANC officials came out this weekend saying they want EFF leader Julius Malema back in the party.

The ANC’s pre-election strategy appears to include attempts at wooing opposition leaders, and possibly their supporters, to rejoin the party fold.
President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday became the latest top ANC leader in a single weekend to say he wants the EFF leader Julius Malema back in the ANC.
This amid pre-Cabinet reshuffle rumours that Ramaphosa intended to include the opposition parties in his administration now or after the 2019 election.
Other ANC leaders who made similar statements over the weekend were Deputy President David Mabuza, party head of elections Fikile Mbalula, and struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. They all said they would like to see Malema rejoin the ANC, with Mabuza extending the invitation to UDM leader Bantu Holomisa.
Speaking during a voter registration walkabout in Pretoria yesterday, Ramaphosa told the SABC: “In fact, I should be able to say we would like to have Julius Malema back in the ANC, he is still the ANC down deep in his heart. So we would love to have those in the EFF back in the ANC, the ANC is their home.”
Holomisa, however, immediately dismissed the ANC gesture.
“It’s a big no. I am not ready to surrender my liberty. The role I play outside of the ANC as part of opposition can be seen by all.
“Who would have made Zuma and the ANC to account for its corruption if we did not challenge it?” Holomisa said. “By bringing us inside the ANC, they want to silence us. Experience shows that one-party dominance breeds corruption, and that has been the case in South Africa over the last ten years,” Holomisa added.
However, Holomisa said he would only agree to assist the ANC when there was a matter of national importance on the table, such as the land question, addressing unemployment and professionalisation of the civil service, among other things.
“They can invite us on such matters, but we don’t have to join the ANC on these issues,” Holomisa said.
Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni said the ANC’s gesture to Malema and Holomisa was not surprising, as indications were clear that a coalition of some sort was in the pipeline in the near future.
“I do think that some kind of repositioning, where some parties might be trying to deal with certain issues is under way. Parties with liberation credentials might want to come together as issues now turn to the socio-economic environment.
“These parties might want to co-operate without being absorbed by others. They might want to work with the ruling party, and might be offered certain positions, which may not necessarily be limited to cabinet posts,” Fikeni said.
The opposition parties may not indicate their clear and final positions at this early stage.
“As the 2019 elections are close, it will be suicidal for any party to surrender to the ANC, but they might want to strategically wait until the right moment, perhaps after the election, before they accept any proposal from the ANC,” Fikeni said.
At the weekend, Madikizela-Mandela said she would speak to the EFF’s Malema to return to the ANC. Madikizela is a close associate of the EFF leader and she was also an ally and interacted with Holomisa to organise the reburial of the ANC’s King Sabata Dalindyebo in Transkei in 1989.
Both Malema and Holomisa were expelled separately from the ANC before they established their own parties.
The ANC, along with the UDM and other parties, supported the recent EFF motion on the expropriation of land without compensation.
The ANC also promised to back the pending EFF motion to oust the DA Nelson Mandela Bay Metro mayor, Athol Trollip. Neither the EFF leader nor his party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could be reached for comment yesterday.

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