Julius Malema confirmed on Saturday that his grandmother, Koko Sarah Malema, had passed away.
He also confirmed that he will still attend the Economic Freedom Fighter‘s final pre-election rally at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday.
Sarah Malema died at her home in Polokwane. Julius shared a close bond with his grandmother. She raised him after his mother passed away when he was still a young child.
Malema shared some touching words to his Twitter account,
“Our pillar of strength has fallen, the great tree that provided cooling shades of comfort, love and stability have been uprooted, forever, from our lives. I love you, my confidant…”
Malema’s deep respect for his grandmother
While the CIC doesn’t reveal many details about his private
life, he has shared a few personal
stories about his relationship with Sarah. In an interview with Metro FM in
2017 he revealed how she made him apologise to
Naledi Pandor about a comment he made about her accent.
During the 2016 elections, Sarah was by his side when the
two went to cast their votes at the Mponegele Primary School in Polokwane, the
very same school Julius attended as child.
Gogo’s pride in Malema
In 2015, the firebrand politician told Jacaranda FM that his grandmother was still in good health.
“She still walks without a stick, she is very strong,” he said.
He told the radio station that his grandmother was a great
speaker and while she didn’t speak publicly, he was always fascinated when his
Malema also said that he knows his grandmother was proud of
him and shared a story of how happy she was on his wedding day.
“She was dancing, she was over the moon. Her grandchild was written off by many, but he came of age and established his own family,” Malema said.
His grandmother was also present when he graduated with a BA
Degree in 2016.
Across the political divide, condolences have poured in for Malema.
The Presidency released a statement on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa released a statement, saying:
“The president’s thoughts and prayers are with Mr Malema, his family and his organisation as they take leave of a matriarch who had played a significant role in her family and in the life of Mr Malema in particular,” the statement read.
Other politicians shared their sympathy on Twitter.