President Jacob Zuma wants to be president for a third term, and nobody will be able to stop him, his former protégé and Economic Freedom Fighters commander in chief, Julius Malema cautioned today.

 

“If he wants to be president for the third time, he will be president because everybody is too scared to oppose him,” Malema told a full house at the Daily Maverick’s The Gathering in Midrand.

Pres. Zuma was “suppressing” talk about succession ahead of the party’s 2017 elective conference, as well as songs about new leaders. Malema said this was because he was “scared of going to prison”, and the only way to avoid it was to become president again.

“Jacob Zuma is like a man going in now, not going out,” Malema said, citing Zuma’s alleged taking over of state institutions as evidence that he was consolidating his power.

Zuma has been ANC president since 2007 and the country’s president since 2009.

According to the Constitution, he has to step down after the next general elections, in 2019. Nothing but convention stops Zuma from becoming the ANC’s president for a third time.

A lobby including North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo said they might campaign for Zuma to be elected ANC president for a third time next year.