Media reports from Botswana are suggesting that the “ban” imposed on Julius Malema by the country is set to be lifted, allowing Juju access to the country for the first time in five years.
The news comes just two days before Julius Malema has promised to make a speech on the alleged coup attempt in the country, during the EFF’s Youth Day celebrations at the University of Fort Hare. The self-appointed CIC found himself in Botswana’s bad books after some pretty divisive comments.
Why Julius Malema was “banned” from Botswana
Back in 2011, Julius Malema promised to “overthrow” the Ian Khama regime in the country. Due to his capacity as ANC Youth League leader, these comments sparked a diplomatic incident. Malema was forced out of the party just a few months afterwards.
Juju labelled the government as a “puppet regime” and promised to incite a coup through a command team. Fast-forward three years to 2014, and his attempts to cross the border hit a brick wall – he was unable to secure a visa to the country, despite Botswana having very few of these requirements in place for South Africans.
Even in his capacity as an elected MP, Julius Malema has not been allowed access to Botswana. But apparently, that’s all set to change. The Botswana Standard is just one of a number of local papers reporting that the travel restrictions placed on Malema will be lifted by current president Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Lifting the ban
With Ian Khama’s regime ultimately changed, there is effectively no reason to prevent Malema travelling north of the border. The government no longer see the firebrand politician as a threat to their security. In fact, he may have some revolutionaries to go and visit:
One of the newer branches of the EFF’s growing international movement is in Botswana. Established in July 2018, the party are very much in their infancy and operate at a grassroots level. But with restrictions on the South African EFF and their leader being lifted, the organisation could soon start to flourish.