“Lies were told to Juju (EFF leader Julius Malema) by people whom Juju had no reason to disbelieve. Quite correctly, he believed them and acted accordingly. He discovered later he was lied to,” former president Thabo Mbeki said in a televised interview.

The Economic Freedom Fighters leader agreed with him.

These words got me thinking even harder about a question I have been pondering for a while now. Could I vote for the EFF in 2019?

Malema has worked on his image over the past few years. When he speaks now he sounds more presidential and more appealing to clever-almost-born-free blacks like myself.

Malema sorted out the mockery that was his academic achievement and graduated last year from Unisa. This proved to me that he is well aware of the importance of education and will do anything to ensure that educating the black child remains a priority in our country if he becomes president.

His executive committee are a bunch of educated people who really want to usher in radical economic freedom in their time.

Is that reason enough to vote for the EFF?

He further got married. In black culture or communities, even in a democratic and modern world like we live in today, getting a wife is a sign you are more settled in life. It is largely interpreted as being responsible and being manly.

Is that reason enough to vote for the EFF?

For that, many black people have given him the thumbs up and continue to see a man on a mission in him. The conservative in me also agrees that getting married is a big deal to such a fairly young leader as Malema.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has lampooned South Africans for supporting the ANC while it failed to defend them in their daily struggles.

In Joburg on Sunday, the EFF launched its campaign ahead of next year’s general elections, set to be the most fiercely contested since the dawn of democracy.

Addressing EFF supporters at the Standard Bank Arena, party leader Julius Malema said South Africans kept voting for the ANC, but looked up to the EFF to solve their daily struggles.

“Every time our people are beaten by whites, they tag the EFF on Twitter, but when they vote, they vote for the ANC,” Malema said.

He said his party was the solution to the problems faced by South Africa’s black people.

“There is no other solution but the EFF. You must vote EFF,” he said.

Malema said black professionals were being deliberately overlooked for promotion in the private sector in favour of their white counterparts. “Our sisters who work in the corporate world earn less than their white counterparts. And they don’t climb the corporate ladder. Instead, their white colleagues move up within a short space of time,” Malema said.

The EFF is the third largest political party after the ANC and DA.

Malema said South Africans who did not register to vote for his party were criminals.

“We are saying all fighters in all branches in the country must be registered to vote. If you are not registered, then you are a criminal.

“On the 10th and 11th, all people must register to vote,” Malema said.

On the issue of the Ingonyama Trust, Malema said that no one, not even the Zulus or the Afrikaners, should threaten war.

Recently former president Kgalema Motlanthe’s high-level panel report recommended to Parliament that the Ingonyama Trust Act should be repealed or amended.

This was followed by threats of violence and litigation.

Malema said his party was not afraid of a civil war if people wanted to use violence to defend the trust.

“Why should the Zulu kingdom not be treated like other institutions under our democracy? Why must we shiver when they speak? No, we are in a democratic debate here. No one must threaten war.

“Those who are threatening civil war have proven to be non-thinkers and, by the way, we are not scared of a war,” Malema said.

In the 2016 local government elections, the EFF became a kingmaker after it secured 8% of electoral support.

The party then backed the DA to govern hung municipalities, including critical metros like Tshwane, Joburg and Nelson Mandela Bay, dislodging the ANC from power in the process.

Malema told the crowd that his party would oust the official opposition from power in Nelson Mandela Bay.

This comes after the DA rejected the EFF’s parliamentary motion to expropriate land without compensation.

“We are now taking the DA out in Nelson Mandela Bay. Our people want umhlaba (land),” Malema said.

He added that the EFF would not vote the ANC into power in Nelson Mandela Bay if Mcebisi Jonas did not become the mayor there. Jonas was a former deputy finance minister under ex-president Jacob Zuma’s administration.

Zuma fired him following allegations that the controversial Gupta family had tried to bribe him in exchange for favours if he became the finance minister.

Accordingly, Malema and his EFF believe that Jonas is incorruptible and would better serve the people of Nelson Mandela Bay.