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When the ANC Youth League made its inflammatory attack on Twitter last week, it was hoping to scare the fake Malemas into silence. Clearly, that plan has backfired, and the official statement from Youth League Spokesman Floyd Shivambu was the spark that ignited a whole new flurry of Malema impersonation…
At the time of writing, there were 22 fake Julius Malema accounts on Twitter, ranging from the very active and funny to the practically libelous and offensive.
We’ve taken a look at them all, and tried to give you some insights into which accounts are worth following. If it’s not featured here, it’s probably not worth checking out.
|The most active and well-managed Malema account, it effortlessly straddles the line between satire and believability. This Julius has attracted nearly 15 000 followers, and is a platform for “Malema” to pronounce on people like Gareth Cliff, Malusi Gigaba and many others who cross his path. It also links to a blog: www.juliusmalema.co.za|
|Nothing new since the 4th of November but the wit and sarcasm of the account has attracted over 1200 followers. Here’s an example of one of the classic tweets: “@Floyd_Shivambu we need to change the words to ‘shoot the tweeter’ in our favourite song!”|
|This account was begun on the 8th of April, but jumped back to life after “Twittergate” with a few tweets. Slightly one-dimensional and not that funny, but it has still managed to attract many followers|
|How does an account with only three tweets in total attract over 600 followers? The name Malema certainly helps, but great tweets like this will always find an audience: “We are not scared of debate even on complex matters we do not understand. That is what it means to be an activist…”|
|Well managed, funny, light and able to capture Juju’s tone of voice perfectly. I love this latest tweet: “Until 30 Movember, my name is Molema, Juju Molema. You can also call me SIR, bloody agents. #movember #jujumolema”|
|Shut down in mid-May and hasn’t come back to life despite the media attention and 240 followers.|
Who else is out there?
@JuliusMalema_: Seven tweets, and four followers. Started and ended over a four day period. Not really worth the effort.
@TheJuliusMalema: This account crackled to life on the 4th of November and is still going strong. Complete with ‘bed speling’, this account focussed on closing down Facebook, Google and Twitter, and interacts often with other Julius accounts.
@Juliarse_Malema: Another direct result of the November outburst, this is an extremely confrontational and LOUD account, lacking in subtlety but worth watching. Example tweet: “THIS TWITTER CLOSER IS ALMOST COMPLETE i THINK WE CAN START RATTLING THE CAGE OF THE GOOGLE COCKROACHES”
@Julius69Malema: A little bit pointless, racist and hateful for my taste. Can’t see this really going anywhere.
@JMalema_TWIT_IR: Hard-working, established fake Julius account. Lots of interaction with Gareth Cliff, Bob Skinstad and other celebrities. Not exactly sure why this guy is impersonating Malema, to be honest, as it comes across as quite an ordinary Twitter account.
@juliasmalema: Another new account that quickly attracted 60+ followers, but not adding much to the action with tweets like “Bastards” and “Hos Ja”. Pretty sure it’ll fade away once the furore dies down.
Most of the other Malema accounts appear to have been started on a whim and then abandoned with only one or two tweets. Of course, to get the full picture of Malema on Twitter, you should really be following his sidekick, Floyd Shivambu, as well.
@Floyd_Shivambu is the most active fake Floyd account, and frequently interacts with the legion of Juju’s on Twitter.