For The People

Exclusive Interview with Julius Malema

The Solomon Star’s online news and politics talk show, “Speaking Plainly with Thabo Makweya”, had an exclusive interview with the Economic Freedom Fighters, Commander In Chief, (CIC) Julius Malema last week. Malema was in the province to continue his election door to door canvassing. He visited Barkley West, Kimberley taxi rank and the Galeshewe circle.

The room had befallen with silence as everyone present anxiously awaited to hear Julius Malema’s thoughts, a man known for speaking his mind without any hesitation or doubt. The conversation went straight to nationalization of the land. Malema emphasized that the state should become the custodians of the land to avoid not being able to say anything when food security and employment is disrupted. He continued to make an example of how traditional leaders of Ngonyama trust have persal numbers because they are organs of the state, yet when informed that the state will be the custodian of the land, they fail to understand. Malema says white commercial farmers understand the notion of the state being the land custodians but their issue is that their comfort zone is being tempered with. He went on to add that the word equality is the most insulting word when it comes to white people because they were raised to believe a black man or woman could never be an equal.

“White people know and understand nationalization as it worked in apartheid to uplift illiterate white people through companies such as Sasol for example,” Malema explained.

Malema went on to claim that the ANC policies are not progressive, stating that “they offer no school fees but give parents all types of lists demanding money in form of specific types of stationary needed and casual day donations, to name a few. If you look at the amount of money every parent donates or contributes, in essence it amounts to the same as school fees, yet the schools claim to be free. A progressive policy would say that no parent should be asked for money and if anything is required, the Department of Education ought to cover it. Each school must create an annual budget of what they envision their needs to be and emergencies must be directed to the Department of Education”.

He also complained about the lack of leadership within government officials who wait for Ministers to come to town and only then work on delivering basic services that communities should already have. He relayed a story of the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe who visited a town in North West and who came across running sewage. He states that as a means of immediately rectifying the sewage problem in the area, Mantashe refused to leave until the running sewage was sorted out although it had been running for almost 5-years prior to his visit.

“I went to an area within the Northern Cape during our door to door canvassing and found an old woman walking, using a stick for assistance. She informed me that she went to a clinic and was told she is critical and in need of an ambulance. She waited up until 16h00 for the ambulance at the clinic but had to vacate as the clinic closed at the same time. Her children then had to go and fetch her and on their way home it started pouring with rain. This goes to show that had the clinic remained open till late she could have been safe while awaiting the ambulance. People with curable diseases die due to lack of progressive primary health policies. It simply cannot work like that”.

While the EFF was fighting that Zuma should pay back the money and for the Gupta’s to stop taking over South Africa, families were being maltreated and insulted because the nation regarded the EFF members as disrespectful towards the elderly and of continuously disrupting parliament, to which Malema responded, “Whether you are old or young, a thieve remains a thief”.

Elaborating on the voter percentage that over the years has worked in the EFF’s favour, Malema went on to state just how confident he is in his party because of their clear voter increase, “The EFF is the only party that has increased its vote since 2016, while the DA and ANC decreased. This is a scientific demonstration that not even their favourite Cyril Ramaphosa can save the ANC. They are trying to resurrect Thabo Mbeki but it will not help them, Mbeki had a 2 thirds majority but failed. If they had a way they would go and resurrect Mandela in Qunu, that is how desperate they are”.

The Economic Freedom Fighters seem to have a clear plan to industrialize and incentivize those who want to develop in Galeshewe. They feel that It’s important that businesses come to the people, making it easy for black people to walk to their workplaces and back home as a lot of their white counterparts do. According to Malema, those who will be industrializing Galeshewe must be given discounts of electricity and water as an incentive.

Malema states that when De Beers came to Kimberley, they mined diamonds and left the community with a big hole instead of the biggest diamond cutting institution in the world, which could have attracted a lot of investors and which would have in turn also left the town with a great legacy.

Julius Malema believes that the EFF is going to do exceptionally well in the upcoming elections as they are now existing in almost all the provinces although they admit that they struggled with the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal and a number of areas in the Northern Cape. They have been receiving overwhelming response in the most remote areas of the country and although the EFF is known for attracting the youth, they have seen a number of the elderly showing great interest in the party. One of the main areas in which the EFF is struggling to gain leverage, is with the female voter. The party is currently conducting its own internal research to assess their failure to attract the female vote. He said although the party had worked on some “very progressive” policy positions to attract the female vote, it was struggling to gain traction.

“People say it’s our articulation, especially the posture we take when we speak, that represents masculinity. According to critics, this is why we are not attractive to the female voter, I don’t know… It’s something that we are navigating through and we are trying to learn as to what is the problem with the female voter when it comes to the EFF”.

Whilst the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) recorded 55% of women had registered to vote for this year’s elections, of the 26 million registered voters, women make up the larger majority with 14.7 million registered against 12 million male voters.

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