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A Politician Threatens South African Stability

The head of the ANC’s youth league calls for nationalization

Julius Malema, the youth leader of South Africa’s ruling party, is known for his fiery rhetoric. On June 20, the firebrand burned even hotter than usual. “The real enemy is white monopoly capital,” Malema told more than 5,000 cheering delegates at a youth league conference in Johannesburg. “They are the ones we are fighting against. In whose hands is this wealth? In whites’!”

The June 20 speech is the latest move by the 30-year-old Malema to prod the ruling African National Congress into nationalizing the country’s major white-owned companies. Malema, who is now driven around in a white Range Rover and wears a Breitling watch, is focused especially on South Africa’s banks, as well as the mining concerns that contribute 8.8 percent of gross domestic product. Malema declined to be interviewed for this story.