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Pan Macmillan

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From An Inconvenient Youth, Chapter 10: How Malema Became an Expert Businessman

An Inconvenient YouthIn an excerpt from her new book, An Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema and the ‘New’ ANC, Fiona Forde writes about the impressive business acumen of the ANCYL’s charismatic president, Julius Malema. According to Forde, Malema was already familiar with tenders while still in school (Malema and a group of friends outbid their teachers to provide school uniforms for the students).

When Forde asked Malema which field he felt he excelled in best – politics or business, Malema replied, “Do the two have to be mutually exclusive?”

I thought back to a conversation I once had with Julius Malema in the wake of a heated political moment. I can’t remember what it was he had done — no doubt spouted off an insult of some sort. But whatever it was, he found himself walking on the wrong side of the suspended [ANC disciplinary] sentence that was hanging over his head, yet he knew, or at least he thought he knew, he was untouchable among his peers.

“They can’t get me,” he said as he laughed heartily. “I’m the one with the nine lives. They can’t bring me down.”

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