Original Research

Discursive ideologies in campaign speeches of Cyril Ramaphosa and Julius Malema in the 2019 South African presidential election

Ibitayo O. Oso, Ivie R. Oviawe
Inkanyiso | Vol 12, No 2 | a45 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ink.v12i2.45 | © 2023 Ibitayo O. Oso, Ivie R. Oviawe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 January 2023 | Published: 30 November 2020

About the author(s)

Ibitayo O. Oso, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Ivie R. Oviawe, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

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This work analyses the discursive ideologies embedded in campaign speeches of Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress (ANC) and Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the period before May 8, 2019, the South African general elections. The study is an attempt to uncover the hidden ideologies the candidates subtly employ to sway voters in their favour. The study employed Critical Discourse Analysis to analyse the campaign messages. The data for the study comprised the campaign exchanges of the two candidates retrieved from www.youtube.com. This study shows that the two presidential contenders, through their campaign speeches, employed different ideologies through which they hoped to sway the electorate in their favour. The incumbent, Cyril Ramaphosa, projects the ideology of renewal and the elements of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ in his campaign speeches. Julius Malema, on the other hand, being a young leader, sells the ideologies of economic liberation, ‘us’ versus ‘them’ and ‘young’ versus ‘old’, depicting that only the youth can lead South Africa to the promised land. The study submits that political discourse is laden with specific ideologies which are intended to convince the voters to vote for them. It is therefore important that the public be well informed so that they can rationally uncover and identify these ideologies and either accept or reject them.


discursive; ideology; campaign; South African presidential elections


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