- The 'Tea Party' hosted by ex-president Jacob Zuma and attended by Julius Malema has been the talk of Mzansi in recent days
- Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni is adamant that Malema has the power to disrupt the power succession within the ANC
- While those who attended aren't spilling any tea, Mnguni is adamant something big is on the cards
By Johnnie Isaac: Freelance journalist
Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni says Malema is one person who has an ability to disrupt the intergenerational logic of power succession within the ANC.
Parties who attended the tea party have kept the discussions among themselves, leading to speculations and claims by hidden sources.
There is more going political to the "Tea Party" that was hosted by former President Jacob Zuma and attended by the EFF Commander in Chief, Julius Malema.
It has been widely reported that this "Tea Party" was not as a result of a spontaneous Twitter conversation as it first emerged but has been long in the making with few political players involved.
Early indications were that Malema is going to Nkandla to convince Zuma to reconsider his stance of refusing to appear before the Zondo Commission.
Arriving there in the company of Advocate Dali Mpofu who has represented a number of clients who appeared before the commission strengthened those speculations.
Whilst the presence of Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile in Nkandla was expected since on Twitter Malema had indicated that he will finalise the details of the visit through him, there was a surprise presence of Tony Yengeni, an ANC NEC member.
As the parties decided to keep the details of their discussions to themselves, it remained a matter of speculation and reported claims from hidden sources who claim to have been present.
What has made these two strange bedfellows to come together and have tea when the EFF went after Zuma, disrupted his Parliamentary appearances, took him to court and sponsored the motion of no-confidence that forced resignation of Zuma after realising that ANC will support the motion.
As the cliché, "There are no permanent friends or enemies in politics," what has brought these former foes together?
Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said politicians at times will always bargain with what strengthens their ambitions.
It is an open secret that Malema harbours ambitions of being elected to be the president of this country.
During his era as the ANC youth league leader, Malema was celebrated and often touted as the future leader of the party and the country.
The cracks in the ANC renews Malema's ambitions but it may not be possible to achieve it without winning some of the warring factions of the ruling party.
Mnguni said: "We must always be clear that we are in the arena of speculations but there's no doubt that anybody with ambitions to inherit presidential seat must have a degree of support from various actors including within the ANC, particularly given the reality that whatever happens in the future of our electoral outcome will probably grant us coalition outcome."
Mnguni believes that there is a strongly hidden realignment of political forces within ANC whose aim is to disrupt the presidency of Ramaphosa to destabilise his efforts to reform the state after certain institutions began pursuing particular individuals or their misdeeds.
"I don't believe that the meeting [in Nkandla] would have happened without the blessing of David Mabuza or Paul Mashatile. Immediately after Nasrec, Mabuza appeared to be somewhat close to Julius," said Mnguni.
He said Malema is one person who has an ability to disrupt the intergenerational logic of power succession within the ANC.
"I think of Julius for example if he were to go back to ANC, just at hypothetical level, there's nobody in the party that would be able to contest him for the presidential seat.
"Of course, you'll appreciate that politics are a funny business because when Malema left [the ANC] he had fought with the likes of Andile Lungisa but everybody when they are down and out they forge new alliances."
While most of what is happening at this stage remains a speculation one thing that is clear is that Malema is an ambitious politician whose political rhetoric resonates with some in the ANC.
Could it be that the ANC faction which has been backing Zuma is preparing to work with Malema and forge a new path?
Zuma has been frustrated by his ongoing corruption case and various judgments that have ordered him to pay legal costs of other litigants.
Malema on the other hand is not off-the-hook yet from charges of corruption that were provisionally withdrawn after he approached the court to seek trial separation from his co-accused.
But he had previously shared a view that Zuma is too old to go to jail. Could it be that Zuma is seeking new friends that can help him to stay out of jail since the current ANC leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa has allowed the law to take its course without giving any hint of coming to his aid?
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that former president Jacob Zuma reportedly told EFF leader Julius Malema that he would only appear at the State Capture Commission if Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recused himself.
Zuma believes that Zondo is conflicted. According to the pics posted on social media by the EFF, Zuma, Malema, EFF's advocate Dali Mpofu, ANC's Mzwandile Masina and Tony Yengeni held a meeting over tea at Zuma's Nkandla homestead on Friday, 5 February. Malema had hit Zuma up on Twitter and requested the meeting after he publicly refused to appear at the Zondo Commission.
In a statement, Zuma defied a Constitutional Court order compelling him to appear before the commission.
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