I will nominate Malema to lead for a third term – EFF students president

The president of the EFF Students Command, says he would not hesitate to nominate Julius Malema to lead the EFF for a third term at the party’s national conference in December.

Sihle Lonzi was speaking to Sunday World Engage this week in a wide-ranging interview.

According to the 27-year-old firebrand, Malema is the best-placed person to take the party forward. Malema, he said, ticks all the right boxes of a leader needed by the party under the prevailing political circumstances in the country.

Lonzi, who is a favourite of Malema’s, believes that any talk of the EFF president clinging to power is unfair and opportunistic. In his view, if the majority of EFF members agree that Malema should lead the party, no matter how many terms, the former ANC Youth League president has no choice but to accept the nomination.

If, in December, at the party’s third national people’s assembly, the microphone to nominate for the position of president lands in Lonzi’s hand, he will have one name in mind: Malema.

“Yes, I would nominate him. We do not have these things in the EFF of saying the third term president or second term president. When you contest, you start that term afresh and become president,” said Lonzi.

“When the commander-in-chief (Malema) has value and a contribution to make in the organisation, he must always contest and must always accept nominations.

“I do not see why he must be worried about being called fifth or sixth-term president; that does not exist to us. If the EFF and its members believe we still need a leader of his calibre to take us to economic freedom in SA, every time we nominate him, he must accept the nomination,” Lonzi went on.

“There is a temptation to want to put us as the EFF in a corner when it comes to that debate about the position of president, but you cannot because that debate does not arise for us.”

Lonzi is of the view that the rise of Malema’s deputy, Floyd Shivambu, to the top position will be an “organic” process from EFF structures not influenced by external forces. But “for this epoch,” it is Malema all the way as per the wishes of the EFF structures, he added.

“We must not be told that it is the 10th or 11th term; it is neither here nor there. Do we still need this person as the generation of economic freedom in our lifetime? If the answer is yes, he must lead. It is not a competition [between Malema and Shivambu].”

Lonzi said the EFF Student Command was confident young people will vote for the EFF in their numbers.

The structure had diagnosed the problems of students who vote for the Student Command at universities, but the same people are nowhere to be found for the mother body in mainstream politics.

As such, the EFF SC had decided that all its members must also be members of the EFF and must be registered to vote.

“It is not like there are students who like the EFF Students Command but do not like the EFF, but many students were not registered to vote. There was a huge voter registration apathy among students in higher learning institutions in South Africa.

“We then ran massive voter registration campaigns, especially during the SRC election period last year. There were a lot of students that we registered to vote because we saw that problem much earlier, even during the 2021 local government elections.”

Meanwhile, the EFF has dismissed as fake a candidate list circulated last week as part of a leak from the IEC, claiming that the party’s celebrity MPs have all been booted out. Party leaders blamed the bogus list on factional elements within its ranks.

While Sunday World was persuaded that the list was legit at the time of publication last week, the publication retracts the article titled, “EFF celebrities slip off the pecking order in red berets’ candidate list,” which was based on the disputed list, and offers apologies to the EFF for the oversight.

The celebrity MPs in question have not been expunged from the list of nominees to parliament as previously reported.

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