African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza has accused Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema of attempting to bribe his way into the presidential role of an international youth organisation during his time at the helm of the ANCYL.
Nzuza made the allegation during a wide-ranging interview on the PowerFM show Power Perspective with Onkgoposte JJ Tabane.
According to Nzuza, during his tenure as ANCYL president, Malema had campaigned to be the president of an international youth organisation called the International Union of Socialist Youth, which the league was a member of at the time.
Nzuza said Malema had ambitions of taking up the leadership of the said union because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor at the league, Fikile Mbalula.
The ANCYL secretary-general, however, claimed that to attain this goal, Malema tried to bribe certain individuals so he would be elected president of the organisation but was caught out, leading to the expulsion of the ANCYL from the international formation.
“[When] we came into office we had to try and fix up that mess,” Nzuza said, adding that the league was only readmitted to the union this year.
Malema was expelled from the ANCYL in 2012, and Nzuza was part of the leadership elected thereafter in 2015, with Collen Maine as president. Malema would in 2013 form the EFF.
Nzuza said those who were booted out of the youth league alongside Malema could return to the governing party’s fold if they so wished, and that they need only apply for membership.
The ANCYL secretary-general said, however, that the party would not actively seek them out to recruit them back into its rank and file because they had caused serious damage to the league.
Speaking about the EFF’s presence in the country’s political landscape, Nzuza accused the red berets of grandstanding, saying this was evident through how the party wears red overalls and speaks for the workers while in their personal capacity, its leaders prefer designer labels.
“You can never beat them at their level of grandstanding. So, you can’t really compete with them in terms of how they profile themselves or how they actually posture,” Nzuza said.
The ANCYL leader claimed EFF policy had been taken from the ANCYL, adding that even the name Economic Freedom Fighters was inspired by an ANCYL resolution calling for ‘economic freedom in our lifetime’.
“It was the theme of the ANC. So we are very proud to say that there we contributed. In actual fact, there is a lot of our DNA that you will find in the EFF,” the ANCYL secretary-general said.
In the event where the ANC received below 50% of the vote in next year’s election, Nzuza said ideologically it would make sense to enter into a coalition with the EFF because the two parties share strategic objectives, which includes land expropriation without compensation and “the question of banks”.
“It’s unlike the DA [Democratic Alliance]. The DA is a liberal organisation, white supremacy driven, protection of white privilege kind of set up that you find in the DA. The DA doesn’t even have to go and canvass for the white vote, it’s actually guaranteed because white people see the Democratic Alliance as an organisation that sort of preserves their privilege,” Nzuza said.
The ANCYL secretary-general said it had been astounding that the EFF had decided to enter into a coalition with the DA following the 2016 local government elections because the two parties are ideologically opposed.