Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema told talk show host Eusebius McKaiser on talk radio station 702 that he acknowledges that he is capable of violent and otherwise unacceptable behaviour as a man.
This after a question from McKaiser, in which he said he found it difficult to reconcile the reasonable way Malema and his party behaves at times with their behaviour at other times, with the talk show host saying that people have likened the EFF leader to a “little Idi Amin”, referring to the notorious late Ugandan dictator.
“When my wife says men are trash, I agree and tell her I’m trying to be a different person,” Malema told McKaiser.
The EFF leader has expressed this sentiment before several times.
When McKaiser raised the subject of deputy president Floyd Shivambu’s violent behaviour, possibly related to when he physically assaulted journalist Adrian de Kock last year, Malema acknowledged it was “unacceptable” and said that there would be no place for violence under the EFF.
Malema addressed the EFF’s violent reputation, claiming the party is a mirror of society.
“We are a very angry society. Bad things have happened to us. People forget the pain we’ve gone through as black people,” he said.
Malema acknowledged that many people are uncomfortable with the EFF due to the impression that they are “militant and violent”, especially in the wake of incidents such as the way journalist Karima Brown was attacked online by supporters of the party, who subjected her to violent threats after the EFF leader shared her phone number, accusing her of being a “mole” who was sending journalists to spy on the party.
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 18, 2019
Malema said he’d been in situations where he’d seen men “pull our women in a very bad way,” saying he has tried to intervene, saying “you can’t do that”.
“Because I’ve experienced this so much I just stay at home,” he added.
“I must stay at home to be in a familiar environment to avoid engaging myself in violent activity,” he continued.
“Where violence raises its ugly head, a fighter must know that it’s time to leave.”
“If you don’t have the necessary strength to separate people and to calm the situation down you can’t find yourself in [such a situation] because it’s unacceptable.”
McKaiser had confronted Malema, saying as a homosexual man he finds it difficult to believe the party’s rhetoric embracing the LGBTQI+ community when he sees party members such as Shivambu engaging in “hyper-masculine”, violent behaviour.