In a radio interview on Monday, EFF national chairperson Advocate Dali Mpofu said that he believed EFF leader Julius Malema may only have one more term in him as the party leader, if he even continues after December.
The EFF is heading to its second elective conference in mid-December at Nasrec, Johannesburg, where Malema is expected to stand for another term.
There has been growing speculation that his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, might oppose him, with suggestions this may be contributing to tension between the two men, who were both expelled from the ANC before forming the EFF in 2013.
Mpofu told Aldrin Sampear on Power FM that no one in the EFF was in the party for “personal ambitions”.
“If [Malema is] re-elected in December this year, I would be surprised if he stands for another term. I am not even sure if he will be available right now,” Mpofu said.
Listen to the interview below:
Mpofu said that having the same leaders in the same positions for too long would “stifle” the party.
“We need fresh ideas, fresh thinking and we can all play different roles. We are not stuck with titles,” he told Sampear.
In 2017 Malema said he would be willing to step down as the party’s president should the time come.
The EFF has no clause in its constitution that guides on issues of the party presidency and there is no limit as to how long an EFF president can lead.
“There’s no limit for the president of the EFF in the constitution; once people say we’re tired of Malema, I’m willing to step down,” he said at the time.
At the EFF’s sixth birthday party in Mpumalanga over the weekend, Malema went on a tirade against leaders in the party he considered bad for its image and its revolution.
While Shivambu was not named, TimesLive suggested that Shivambu appeared “uncomfortable” during the speech, and also suggested that two of the comments Malema made could have been directed at Shivambu.
According to the publication, his mention of “any leader that always appears in controversial issues that undermine the image of the EFF”, could refer to Shivambu’s prominence in reports on the party’s involvement in the VBS bank saga, while his statement that his party’s “revolution does not need people who get easily excited” when they were complimented could refer to how Shivambu was often praised on social media for his speeches on financial issues in parliament.
Malema’s speech also hit out at leaders who he accused of having “hijacked” the EFF “train”.
“Any leader that is busy but busy over nothing is no leader at all,” he said.
“All leaders must be grounded. Leaders must be humble and leaders must answer their cellphone. Leaders do not get easily excitable, even if you win Lotto and even if you get involved in big deals but leaders must remain humble and not act in an excited manner like children getting into a shop full of sweets running all over. I have seen leaders of the EFF getting excited,” he continued.
The EFF, Malema said, “is heavy, it does not need chance-takers”.
“It does not need people who love niceties. It does not need leaders who become shapeless amoebas and do not know what they represent.”
Provincial and regional structures in the party have already started meeting to chart how they will be voting.
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)