Malema, Julius Sello

Malema, Julius Sello, 1981–, South African political leader. Involved in the African National Congress (ANC) from a young age, he rose quickly in its influential Youth League, becoming a regional chairman in 1995. A firebrand speaker, he also became head of the Congress of South African Students for Limpopo province (1997) and nationally (2001), and in 2008 he was elected head of the Youth League. A militant supporter of Jacob Zuma. Malema took controversial positions, e.g., severely criticizing white South Africans and advocating nationalizing the mines, and became a polarizing figure within the ANC and South Africa. In 2011 he was found guilty of hate speech. The ANC suspended Malema, who had turned against Zuma, for sowing divisions within the party in 2011; he was expelled from the ANC in 2012. That year corruption and other charges were brought against him, but the case was dismissed in 2015 due to the long delay beginning the trial. In 2013 he formed a leftist party, the Economic Freedom Fighters; it placed third in the 2014 national elections.

See F. Forde, An Inconvenient Youth (2012).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: African History: Biographies