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Who are the key leaders of Malema's EFF?

2014-06-02 14:33
He said the party had decided on the following parliamentary positions:

- Parliamentary leader: Julius Malema

- Chief Whip: Floyd Shivambu

- Whip: Hlengiwe Hlophe

- Whip: Godrich Gardee

He also named Tebogo Mokwele as whip for the National Council of Provinces, where the EFF has six representatives.

But Malema aside, what do we know about these EFF leaders? News24 takes a look.

Chief Whip: Commissar Nyiko Floyd Shivambu

Shivambu, 31, describes himself as an “activist and development politics student”. Last year, he returned to Wits University in Johannesburg as a full-time postgraduate student – to study for a master’s degree in politics.

As an undergraduate at Wits more than a decade ago, Shivambu was heavily involved in student politics and was political editor of the student newspaper between 2002 and 2004.

He went on to become a researcher for the South African Communist Party (SAPC) and later a policy co-ordinator for the Chris Hani Institute, a joint venture of the SAPC and Cosatu.

In 2008, Shivambu became spokesman for the ANC Youth League and a member of its national executive. But within three years he was kicked out of the party, along with former league leader Julius Malema, after being found guilty of misconduct.

A key member of the EFF, since the party was founded little more than a year ago Shivambu has been responsible for Policy, Research and Political Education.

He says he “believes in Dialectical Materialism and the Labour Theory of Value” - the first is a philosophy of science and nature based on the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and the latter is a theory association with Marxist economics.

Born in Malamulele, Limpopo Province, Shivambu was once a prolific blogger but seems to have downed tools in recent months, with his last entry dated December 2013. His views can however be read on Twitter, where describes himself as “provocative” and “blessed” – and has amassed almost 50 000 followers.

As chief whip, it will be Shivambu’s job to make sure EFF members show up for special votes and cast their votes in line with party policy.

Whip: Commissar Godrich Gardee

Godrich Gardee became actively involved in politics in 1985, the International Year of the Youth (IYY), where he sang freedom songs and listened to radio broadcasts from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia.

He skipped the country the following year after being exiled for student uprisings and later joined the ANC in Botswana.

While other exiled members of the ANC returned to South Africa in 1990, Gardee chose to study in Nigeria for six years. The ANC paid for his studies and he later graduated with a Higher National Diploma in Accounting and Auditing.

On his return in 1996, Gardee filled various ANC positions before being appointed provincial treasurer of the ANC Youth League. He stepped down in 2002, aged 33, and said that ever since then he was “marginalised and literally refused political activism in the Kamagugu ANC branch”.

He claims that he did not join the EFF, so much as become a “founding member to its creation, conceptualisation, design and roll out”.

Now in his mid-40s, Gardee is the EFF’s election co-ordinator and will serve as a whip.

Whips: Commissar Hlengiwe Hlophe and Commissar Tebogo Mokwele (NCOP)

The other two whips, Hlophe and Mokwele are relatively unknown. They are both women and both former members of the ANC.

Hlophe was an ANC ward councillor between 2000 and 2006 in Durban. A mother-of-one, she was previously deputy national chairperson of the Young Communist League of South Africa and according to some reports once worked as a project manager for a slum-dwellers organisation.

Hlophe left the ANC in 2009 to align briefly with Cope before joining the EFF.

Meanwhile, Mokwele is understood to be in her late 30s and under the EFF has been responsible for infrastructure.
Read more on: eff  |  floyd shivambu  |  julius malema  |  politics  |  elections 2014

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