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Malema's visit to Vaal students leaves much to be desired

Genevieve Quintal

Students have responded with mixed reactions to an address by EFF leader Julius Malema at the Vaal University of Technology.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. (David Harrison, M&G)

There was mixed reaction from students at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema addressed them on Tuesday.

Kgomotso Serumula said she thought Malema was racist.

"He's not that much educated and I think he needs to watch his words," she said after his address. "His speech was convincing, a lot of students were convinced, but somewhere, somehow I wasn't convinced," she said.

Another student Elizabeth Monkwe said she thought Malema's address was motivating but was not sure if the EFF leader would be able to deliver on his promises.

"We'll see what the results are and we'll see if he will actually deliver ... He says he wants to lead without corruption, so we going to see if that is possible because corruption is his middle name."

Expropriation of land
Wearing a yellow, buttoned shirt and dark sunglasses, Malema stood on the back of a bakkie in the parking lot of the VUT's main residence on Tuesday and spoke about EFF policies such as the expropriation of land without compensation and the nationalisation of mines.

He told students there would be no true reconciliation in the country as long as whites had the land.

James Ncedani, an EFF member and Student Representative Council chairperson of the University of the North West's Vaal Triangle campus, said the party wanted to avoid the negative image that people had given it.

"It's not that the EFF is here to be fighting issues on race, but it's to ask for us to unify," he said.

Student Katiso Lebitsa said he had been interested in hearing what Malema had to say.

"For me he wasn't as racist as many people think. For me everything he said was fine, he was fair to everything."

Lephalala Thapelo, however, said Malema needed to do some research.

"He talks and talks but he doesn't make any point," he said. "He must know what we need, he mustn't talk about some people, he must talk about what he's going to offer us."

'Empty tin that makes a lot of noise'
Edward Mokolarre said he thought Malema's speech was relevant.

"We appreciate him coming, but we also concerned about whether he will implement what he says ... An empty tin that makes a lot of noise is just useless to us as Africans," Mokolarre said.

Hendry Mabuza said he was not a Malema fan.

"He's more like one of those people who talk and talk and talk and yet they don't talk about the serious stuff ... They don't talk about things worth listening to."

Mabuza said he hoped the youth would make the right choice. – Sapa

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