Fact Check

Did EFF Leader Malema Surrender to South Africa’s President Ramaphosa, As Posited by an X User

By: Ibrahim  Muhammad Mustapha


A Twitter user asserted that Julius Sello Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has accepted defeat and congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa on winning the presidential elections in South Africa.


Misleading! FactCheckAfrica’s investigation shows that vote counting was ongoing when the claim was made. Also, we checked the official handle of Malema and found no concession of defeat. 

Full Text  
South Africa held its general elections on May 29, 2024, with multiple parties contesting, including the ruling African National Congress (ANC); the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). 

The elections were seen as a crucial test for the country’s democracy, with issues like economic growth, corruption, and social inequality dominating the campaign trail. The EFF, led by Julius Malema, has been a vocal opponent of the ANC and has gained significant support among South Africans. The party has been advocating for radical economic transformation and land expropriation without compensation.

On  31 May, 2024, a verified X user, identified as @AlinurMohamed  claimed that Julius Malema had accepted defeat and congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa on winning the presidential race. 

He said, “Julius Malema accepts defeat and congratulates President Cyril Ramaphosa for winning the presidential elections. Don’t forget that the white man John Steenhuisen of DA got more votes than Malema. Julius Malema will never become the president of South Africa.” 

As of the time of this writing, the post had been viewed by over  30,000 users on the social media platform, received 493 likes, got 61 comments and was reposted widely.  

FactCheckAfrica could confirm that the counting of votes was ongoing when the claim was made so we decided to factcheck it due to this evident suspicion. 


FactCheck Africa has been monitoring Julius Malema’s X account (@Julius_S_Malema) and found no evidence of a post conceding defeat or congratulating President Cyril Ramaphosa. We checked the account’s history and confirmed that the original message on May 31, 2024, was ‘a thank you message’ to South Africans for their support, with no indication of defeat or congratulations.
We did a content analysis of the original tweet on Malema’s account, found no evidence of surrender and it reads: “We extend our deepest appreciation to you, the people of South Africa, for your continued support of the EFF. A special thank you to the dedicated ground forces, Commissars, party agents, and all volunteers of our revolutionary movement. We accept this mandate with humility and are determined to continue our responsibilities to serve you. Our resolute commitment to fighting for economic freedom for black people remains unshaken, and we are privileged to have the opportunity to work towards this generational mission in our lifetime. Thank you very much. Siyabonga Mzansi. Releboga kudu kudu. Aluta Continua! Hasta la victoria siempre

Photo Credit: Julius Malema official X account

Meanwhile, as of Friday, May 31, 2024, just after 11 pm (21:00 GMT), vote counting was ongoing, with over 90% of votes completed. The ANC led with around 41% of the ballots, followed by the DA with 21%, the MK with 13%, and the EFF with 9%. The official election results are expected to be announced on Sunday, June 2, 2024.

The claim that Julius Malema has accepted defeat and congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa is misleading. The original message was a thank you message to South Africans for their support, and the election results are still being counted and have not been officially announced.

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