During his days as the ANCYL president Julius Malema had a pleasant relationship with the former president Jacob Zuma.
However, the friend broke down, owing to differences leading to Malema being expelled from the ANC by Zuma.
The outrage would lead to a bitter confrontation when eventually Malema established his young political party the Economic Freedom Fighter EFF.
After the inauguration of the EFF, Malema was aggressive and made sure he fought Zuma head on until his resignation after several allegations of corruption.
However, recent remarks indicates that the erstwhile leader of the nation Jacob Zuma may have forgiven his political mentee and is beginning to speak positively in favour his former political protegé and estranged ally Julius Malema.
Malema who fought the former president persistently until he left office may now enjoy positive comments from his previous political friend.
Former president Jacob Zuma says opposition leader Julius Malema – if properly guided – has potential as a political leader in South Africa.
He made the remark in a television interview with journalist Steve Motale which was broadcast on the Africa News 24-7 channel on Sunday.
This comes after the former president signed up to Twitter, and shared a video confirming it was really him, not a fake account, pronouncing: “It is me – Jacob Zuma.”
Speaking of his decision to join the social media platform, Zuma told Motale: “The decision is very simple, I live among the people … I have realised in the social media, that is where the people are and there is a lot of talk there. I wanted to come in to join the conversation. This conversation at times says things even about me and I have not been able to respond.”
Now, he said, he had a platform to do so in order to correct “distortions and propaganda”.
In addition, he said, “I do have views that I think are important for people to know.”
Asked his response to people including Malema and entertainer Aka welcoming him to Twitter, Zuma said there are “those who have supported me a long time at a social level, but also politicians.”
“I don’t think we have disagreed with Malema politically, we have disagreed with other things,” said Zuma – who infamously sparked the Economic Freedom Fighters #paybackthemoney chant in parliament over his upgrades to his Nkandla homestead with taxpayer funds.
Zuma continued: “Malema comes from the ANC, he was the leader of the youth, I interacted with him a great deal.”
“He knows what I said to him at one point about his potential, which I still believe, if it is properly guided, as it was guided in the ANC, there is something that can come out of Malema.
“I believe his welcoming me indicated some of his very positive thinking and understanding.”
Malema’s short message to Zuma was” Welcome Baba”.
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) December 14, 2018