Fear is a powerful emotion, and playing on it can allow some to get others to do the opposite of what they want to do. An example is EFF leader Julius Malema’s claim that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be forced out before his term ends. Malema was probably, as he has been for a while, acting as a mouthpiece for the ANC’s Zuma faction, saying things they can’t say themselves. Jacob Zuma’s supporters obviously want Ramaphosa gone before his term ends. And they know that the more people believe he will be forced out the easier it will be to get rid of him. Many voters who reject the Zuma-led ANC will vote for one led by Ramaphosa. They may not do this if they think voting ANC will propel the Zuma group back into the presidency. This is why it suits Malema to spread this claim — if they believe Ramaphosa won’t last long, some of these voters might vote EFF. It suits the Zuma group, too, because they do not want the ANC to do too well in this election. If it does, they will be unable t...

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