Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has criticised the way ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola has handled the question around him becoming ANC deputy president.
Though Lamola, in an interview with SABC’s Mzwandile Mbeje last week, emphasised there is a process within the ruling party that is followed when electing leaders, he also admitted that he wouldn’t “mind” if that process favoured him.
“Should the structures decide to nominate Ronad Lamola for deputy president, would you take it?” Mbeje asked Lamola, to which he responded: “I will answer that question at the right time, when the ANC electoral asks me that question if it arises. I don’t mind the idea but I will have to respect the organisational processes.
“It would depend on the outcomes of the conference. I will leave that to the processes of the ANC. Ronald Lamola is bound by the ANC processes. I need to respect that process. We will leave it to the process and hopefully they will decide in the manner that they may want to.”
Lamola further said it would, however, be helpful to the party if there was a generational mix in the top six and other leadership structures.
“There must be generational mix in the ANC structures, from the top 6, the NEC, the provinces, regions and branches. The two biggest opposition parties in the country are led by youthful people, so the ANC has to have an open and comradely discussion about how to infuse that youthful generation so that it can renew leadership.”
Addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, Malema said this is not how Lamola should be responding to this question. Malema said Lamola should not even be showing interest in the position because there is a generation that came before him in the ANC Youth League.
“Why would he want to be deputy president ahead of a generation that came before him? There is a generation that came before him in the youth league. There is a generation consisting of Malusi [Gigaba] and [Fikile] Mbalula. When you’re a leader you don’t talk about yourself, you talk about those who came before you. I once told Mbalula I could not be youth league president ahead of Sihle Zikalala because he was part of the last generation before us. When I was approached I didn’t say ‘me? I’ve been waiting for it’, I said ‘there are people ahead of us’, that’s how we were brought up. You never contest ahead of a generation before you. That’s what he should be doing,” said the EFF leader.