EFF leader Julius Malema has identified the people who guide his thinking, and provide him with inspiration, in an interview with the Financial Mail.
The Economic Freedom Fighters is a South African revolutionary socialist political party which has a strong focus on land expropriation, and nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy.
The Financial Mail questioned Malema on opinions that he has a dictatorial streak in him.
“Mandela was not a dictator. Mandela rose the way I rose and that goes [for] Jesus Christ as well. Jesus Christ was not a dictator, he was just making miracles and saving people,” Malema said.
“We all rise through the conditions we find ourselves in and it is actually a statement of hatred. When you can’t find fault in this man, you just dismiss him, [by saying] that he’s going to be a dictator so that people must be scared of the unknown.
“I will never be a dictator, I was never brought up by a dictator.”
The Financial Mail noted that Malema follows and is inspired by the lives and actions of past revolutionaries.
“All of those that we praise, Fidel [Castro], Vladimir Lenin, Thomas Sankara [president of Burkina Faso 1983-1987], President Mandela, Winnie Mandela, came because they were pained by the living conditions and the suffering of the people on the ground inspired them and they started fighting for those people.
“It is that thing that informs me, that thing that burns in me, when I want to sit at home [and] enjoy my beautiful wife and small family, and … ‘you can’t sit back when our people are suffering, you ought to stand up and fight’,” Malema said.
Read the full interview: Exclusive: Inside the mind of Julius Malema here