Malema was Thursday suspended for five years from the party for bringing the name of the liberation war movement into disrepute.
But in a reaction to his suspension, Zanu-PF aligned businessman and political analyst Jonathan Kadzura feels President Jacob Zuma has “caused a disaster for himself” by allowing the popular youth leader to be suspended.
“That guy is a growing leader who has sympathisers among the poor. He is not finished,” Kadzura said.
“He was the voice against poverty and unemployment in South Africa when everyone else was quiet. I see this young man taking a breather and mobilising support thereafter. But that is if they do not follow him up with the criminal charges.”
Malema is accused of calling for regime change in neighbouring Botswana and calling President Ian Khama a western puppet.
He is also being accused of comparing President Zuma to his predecessor Thabo Mbeki and storming into a meeting of top ANC officials.
Malema, 30, also caused a stir within the party by calling for the nationalisation of South African mines and demanded to retake land from ‘white criminals’.
MDC-N National Organising secretary Qhubani Moyo said Malema had over estimated his power within the ANC and had to be stopped.
“Malema had over-exaggerated his influence. There will be no political consequences for ANC and it is good for Zuma because he has asserted his authority.
Moyo feels Malema’s ignominious moment will also send a message to ANC hawks that were using Malema to advance their own political agendas.
“This shows Zuma is still firmly in charge. It’s a clear signal to those that handle Malema from behind the scenes that Zuma means business. It shows the battle for next year’s ANC congress is on and
Zuma is ready to fight anyone on his way.”
Malema, who was given a hearty reception from Zanu0-PF on his visit to Zimbabwe last year, has a lot of sympathisers from Zanu-PF.
Douglas Mwonzora, spokesperson MDC-T says the party welcomed Malema’s suspension.
“As MDC, we respect the internal processes of other parties including ANC. We wish them success in all its endeavours,” he said.
Businessman and Zanu-PF loyalist Wellington Peyama, who is part of ousted Affirmative Action Group executive that invited Malema to Zimbabwe, said the disciplinary action on Malema was a lesson to local leaders of local political parties who allow indiscipline to prevail in the name of expediency.
“They did it in an open and transparent manner and we want to commend the ANC for a job well done,” he said.
Alson Darikai, chairperson of the local youth empowerment lobby group, Upfumi Kuvadiki, said the ANC decision was sad.
“This is a sad day for African youths who were looking up to Malema as an icon for black empowerment,” he said.
But political analyst Charles Mangongera said the ANC had shown it was a party with effective internal processes.
“ANC has shown that they do not tolerate populist politics which are being played in Zimbabwe and it shows are still intact unlike in Zimbabwe where ministers defy the Prime Minister.”
But some ordinary Zimbabwean opposed to Malema’s suspension admits although Malema pushed his agenda in a radical way, issues he was raising are genuine.
“Malema will go but the issues he has been raising will not die and will one day explode right in the face of the ANC,” said Memory Mupfumi, a Harare resident.