By BO Staff Writer
There is a raging war inside the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The battle is a low intensity conflict between the EFF president Julius Malema, and his deputy Floyd Shivambu. The theatre of this conflict is the elective conferences planned for the regions and provinces. According to sources close to the conflict, the EFF national elective conference shall be held after South Africa’s nationalp elections.
Shivambu is confirmed by sources to have told his faction that he will be contesting the position of EFF president against Malema. It is trite, that elective conferences are won at the levels of regions and provinces – whoever controls these levels has an advantage at the national conference. There is therefore a bitter jostling going on in regions and provinces which has spilt the EFF student formation.
Purges, dissolutions and redeployment of leadership, including in the EFF Student Command (EFFSC), has accordingly become prevalent. Recently the “reshuffled” former provincial chairperson of the EFF Student Command in Gauteng, Frans Kamogelo Ngobeni, took to Facebook and expressed his distress in his status update as follows:
“Mama they put Gauteng PSCT under administration because of poor performance but through its existence EFFSC increased its SRC deployees by more than 49% compared to previous years. Mama they left MP, FS, WC and EC, they are here online reading this post planning to suspend me. Signal hle mama”.
Ngobeni supporters provided further information indicating that the move to curtail the structure was for factional reasons. “But Gauteng is doing exceptionally well, In VUT we won 37 SRC seats from all 3 campuses. we had 1 campus before ,now we have all the campuses”, one of the supporters remonstrated.
Others who find the placing of the Gauteng student command team on administration is for factional reasons, point to the fact that the EFF has for the first time won the Wits University Student Representative Council (SRC) elections. It appears that the purges in Gauteng are driven by the Shivambu faction.
Sources further indicate that Shivambu has the support of the EFF Secretary General, Godrich Gardee, and together they are manipulating organizational processes so as to favour Shivambu. It is for this reason that the forerunner for the position of the EFF Gauteng Provincial chairperson, one Msholozi, finds himself without a branch despite being ready for his branch elections. Sources claim that Gardee is frustrating Msholozi on the instruction of Shivambu.
The battle between Shivambu and Malema is around how to return to the African National Conference (ANC). Malema favours a path that will not elevate Cyril Ramaphosa but Shivambu is a Ramaphosa man. On the other hand, Malema is said to be under heavy pressure from London and Stellenbosch to cooperate with Ramaphosa. Evidently, Malema wants his own timetable to cooperate because he has to explain himself to too many vested interests at home and abroad – including to the EFF criminal cigarette smuggling sponsor of the Italian mafia, Adriano Mazzotti.
Sources indicate that the open courting of Malema by Ramaphosa – as was evident at the funeral of the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela – is part of a strategy between Ramaphosa and Shivambu to pressurize Malema and to psychologically prepare both the EFF and ANC members for the great return of Juju to the ANC under the wing of the murderer of the Marikana workers. Shivambu is said to be convinced that in order to ensure economic freedom for leaders, the shortest route is to cut a deal with Ramaphosa (who is in power) now.
The twist in the tail is that DD Mabuza, the Deputy President of the ANC and the country, also wants Malema back in the ANC. Ramaphosa has been alerted that if Malema returns on account of Mabuza, then he (Ramaphosa) will be a one term serving president. Sources moreover reveal that both Mabuza and Ramaphosa are already gearing up to face each other in the elective conference and each of them believes that if he has Juju in his corner, the battle will be half won.
However, all this must wait until the Malema versus Shivambu war is over within the EFF. Sources believe that Shivambu is using his control over the bureaucracy of the EFF to hasten the move to the ANC and to entrench the position of Ramaphosa. If this is true, then the differences between the two men, at the helm of the EFF, is more about timing and which faction to join, than about an ideological split.
Sources confirm that Lord Robin Renwick, who arrived a week ago in South Africa, is sent by the Queen of England to bring peace within the EFF and to finalize the move into the ANC. Shivambu and Advocate Dali Mpofu are said to be amongst those who believe that only Renwick has the authority to force Malema to move with speed and to stop dragging his feet. Even the revival of Malema’s corruption and fraud charges are meant to motivate him to move faster into the ANC than he seems to be doing. Last week Malema wrote a letter to the ANC asking for a meeting.