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JOHANNESBURG – Mischievous prankster Leon Schuster pulled back the curtain on his most fiendish prank yet when he revealed yesterday that notorious agitator “Julius Malema” had been him all along. Schuster, in the guise of his famously quarrelsome alter ego, was addressing media about a plan to nationalise golf courses when he stopped in the middle of his diatribe, ripped off a latex disguise and said, “Hey guys I got you! It’s me! Leon! Schuster!”
Ever the rascal, Schuster first debuted the Malema character when he joined the Limpopo branch of COSAS, becoming chairman of the organisation in 1997. From there the Vereeniging-born funster moved swiftly up the ranks and was voted ANC Youth League president in 2008. Speaking to reporters, Schuster said that Malema had been one of his all-time favourite gags. “Geez playing this guy was such a jol. I could say the most crazy stuff and you okes would swallow it. Hey, do you remember that time I said I would do a coup in Botswana! And that time I sang Kill The Boers!” Commentators ascribe the longevity of the skit to the actor’s hare-brained yet belligerent portrayal of a divisive Marxist naïf, noting that the Malema character became a symbol of hope for some and a honeytrap for the latent racist leanings of others. Consequently, “Malema” seems set to be even more profitable than Schuster’s previous turn impersonating a black person, 2005’s box office hit “Mama Jack”, with the practical joker gaining access to lucrative Limpopo tenders and funding from wealthy benefactors this time around.