President of the Economic Freedom Fighters Students Command (EFFSC) Mandla Shikwambana spoke at a press conference on Friday at the Birchwood Hotel on the East Rand in Johannesburg, at which the organisation outlined its agenda for 2020.
The EFFSC leader lashed out at the current tertiary education system, threatening to lead his organisation in making it “ungovernable” if certain demands – such as free registration and the acceptance of late registration – were not met.
Shikwambana said higher learning institutions “only favour whites”, who were “self-centred” and didn’t care about public education because they had access to private facilities.
He said the “type of education” at public schools was a joke and was designed to destroy the “confidence of black children”.
The EFFSC would “shut down” and “disturb the peace” of any institution that did not meet its demands, Shikwambana said.
The EFFSC leader also defended the EFF as a whole against allegations of corruption.
“There is no one in the EFF leadership, as far as I know, who is actually corrupt. It’s you media that is making them corrupt. Every day you are making them to be corrupt. You know why I say you are making them corrupt? You are writing stories about them and corruption.”
According to Shikwambana these stories don’t provide “proof”.
He added that the ANC was the party responsible for most of the VBS Bank looting, blaming former president Jacob Zuma of driving the bank towards collapse by failing to pay the money he owed the bank after he was instructed to pay back some of the money used to upgrade security at his KwaZulu-Natal homestead.
Articles on the financial benefit EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu and president Julius Malema allegedly gained from the looting of the bank have been published by multiple news publications, and do provide evidence as to how the party is allegedly connected to the bank.
Two of the publications at the centre of reports on the EFF’s involvement, Daily Maverick and amaBhungane, have since been banned from covering the party’s events.
Shikwambana also defended the EFFSC following reports that Malema is unhappy with it and wants it disbanded.
Malema has been seen to be at odds with the organisation after he twice questioned the wing’s ability to stand on its own. He has gone as far as describing the organisation as “useless” and calling it a “premature pregnancy”.
However, he told News24 he was not calling for the EFFSC to be disbanded but was concerned that it had not done any work in growing itself outside of the support its mother body had given it.
Shikwambana said, however, “it has been proven to say we are able to do things by ourselves”.
He said discussions surrounding the EFFSC at the EFF’s recent elective conference at Nasrec are not a sign of its incompetence.
“By that time, when the EFF was going to conference, the student wing issues and matters were supposed to be discussed.
“That was the first conference since the establishment of the EFF students command. It was very much necessary and important to reflect as the mother body to say is this structure doing exactly what we expect them to do.
“It was a matter of reflecting on what actually has been implemented as we go for the first-ever assembly with the existence of the students command, he said.
He said the involvement of different EFF branches, the PCT, RCT and CCT in EFFSC affairs did not “prove” that the organisation is “useless”.
According to Shikwambana, the ANC student’s organisation enjoyed similar support from its structures, in fact more so because the “ANC is so strong with corruption and they can do whatever they do in getting money to assist these young ones.”
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)