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I'm ruthless against people who organise against me, Malema says to 'thinker, writer' Shivambu

EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu. File Photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu. File Photo.
Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO

EFF leader Julius Malema has given his deputy Floyd Shivambu his flowers but in the same breath sent a veiled warning about conspiracy against him.

Instead of plotting against him, Shivambu should be honest and forthright should he feel it is his time to lead the party, Malema said on Friday.

Conspiring against him would be tantamount to a declaration of war which would bring out his ruthless nature, he said.

Malema was speaking at the EFF's gala dinner at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, to mark the party's 10th anniversary. He used his address to give Shivambu glowing attributes, calling him a thinker who likes writing in the dead of the night under the stars.

Malema reminisced about the birth of the EFF and how he and Shivambu decided at his house at Sandton 10 years ago to fight back after he was expelled from the ANC.

He spoke glowingly about their brotherhood and how Shivambu has always treated him with respect.

Malema also joked to guests at the dinner — who included alleged cigarette smuggler Adriano Mazzotti, suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and former Transnet boss Siyabonga Gama — about how Shivambu likes waiting until he is inebriated before cornering him during their drinking sessions to put emphasis on a point or an idea.

Theirs was a relationship based on complimenting each other and not that of competitors, Malema said.

The glowing remarks took a turn, however, when Malema went on to say he has told Shivambu that instead of conspiring to topple him, he should be upfront if he wants to take over the EFF.

“We complement each other like that. We are not in a competition with each other, and I’ve made it clear to Floyd: ‘The day you get tired of me, don’t go and organise against me. Just tell me, I think you have served your term it is time to go.’

“I will leave without a fight because I will know it’s friendly fire and comes from a good place.”

Without saying whether Shivambu or his EFF colleagues were out to get him, Malema said he was ruthless with those who conspired against him.

“The problem starts when you start organising against me and I hear it in the corners. I’m ruthless against people who do such things to me, so never try that with me,” he said. “And he [Shivambu] knows that because I’ve never lost a conference in my life and no-one I supported has lost a conference in my life.”

Malema made the remarks as rumours abound that Shivambu is being lobbied to challenge him when the party elects new leadership in December next year.

Malema's remarks indicate the rumours may have reached him.

“I’m a tactician, I plan my way and I plan to the extreme. When I get married, I imagine the day or divorce. I don’t stay on the day of happiness, I’ve already lived my day of divorce — even when they visit me, they will never shake me because I’ve seen them before, I plan in advance. Even with politics, the day I get into a position, that is the day I prepare my exit. That’s why I will never trouble you,” said Malema.

“When they expelled me, I never put up a fight. I went to farm cabbages and they followed me. And once you follow me, I told you do not conspire against me in the corners because I will plan my comeback and when I do so I’m ruthless, I don’t play games.

“And I do so without hesitation. I tell you to your face a war has been declared, let’s fight. Because I’m not a coward, I don’t conspire around against those I work with.”

TimesLIVE


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