Checklist: How to be ANCYL president in this ANC

Collen Maine, and Julius Malema

Look, the ANC Youth League has a proud history - Julius Malema is just a very recent example of the power of the Youth League. There’s no love lost between Juju and current Youth League president, Collen “Oros Man” Maine, and yet, as Youth League leaders they are actually quite similar. 

1. Living the luxe life
Julius Malema once owned a flashy mansion in the uptown suburb of Sandton. To secure the deal, he paid more than half of the R3.6-million purchase price in cash.

Collen Maine bought a R5.4 million property in the east of Pretoria last October, just weeks after he was elected as the youth league president. 

2. Allegations of wrong doing
Malema and Maine both have flashy houses, but questions were raised over how they managed to buy these mansions. There were allegations that the Gupta family helped Maine to secure his mortgage.

In 2011, Malema had corruption allegations brought against him due to his secret trust fund. It was alleged that the Ratanang Family Trust had been set up to receive money from politicians and businessmen, allegedly in exchange for facilitating government contracts.

3. A history of misogyny
Julius once refused to debate with the DA’s Lindiwe Mazibuko, calling her “the Madam’s tea girl.” This was in reference to her being the “servant” of former DA head Helen Zille.

Collen Maine called poet and singer Ntsiki Mazwai a “greasy panty” after she said that women in the ANC are used only as “panties.” Maine responded in the same way, and received backlash for being sexist. 

4. They’re ready to wage war, whenever, wherever
In 2008, Julius Malema stood up for Jacob Zuma and made the now-infamous “We will kill for Zuma” comment. Although President Zuma now spends more time in Malema’s line of fire, we haven’t forgotten how willing Juju once was to take up arms for a cause he believed in at the time.

Collen Maine promised to go to war with the EFF after their recent antics in the National Assembly had them forcibly removed. “If they want a fight, they must be given war,” said Maine.

Juju and “Oros” (as Maine is not-quite-affectionately known) may be on opposing ends of South Africa’s political divide right now, but they have enough in common to make us wonder if the ANC Youth League president factory is using the same mould for all its leaders.

5. Jacob Zuma is bae
Here’s Malema in 2011 on his way to being re-elected as Youth League president:

“Sitting here are your protectors. These are the people who delivered you to the Union Buildings and we will forever protect you,” Malema said to Zuma. “You have no reason to doubt us.”

And here’s the Oros man last year:

“An attack on President Zuma is an attack on the ANC and all of us.”

6. There’s no love for media-types
This was Maine hitting out against Steven Friedman and Eusebius Mckaiser: “We seek to combat those counter-revolutionaries who come in all sorts [of forms]. Amongst those we are faced with are those self-proclaimed opinion-makers in the country.”

And then remember, it was Julius who anointed journalists “bloody agents”.

7. They are definitely making it up as they go along
“We are in a political laboratory; never blame us if we make mistakes, we are [just] learning,” Julius said a long, long time ago.

Maine: *crickets*