South Africa—EFF leader Julius Malema will serve as the party’s president for as long as its members want him in the position.

Malema, who is the founder of the party and has been at its helm since it was founded in 2013, told the SABC on Tuesday that while he has no plan to stay in politics indefinitely, he will remain EFF president for as long a the party needs him.

He was discussing the party’s manifesto launched last week in the lead-up to local government elections on November 1.

“My intention is to leave when I am 55. Remember, I came into this thing when I was nine. I’m not here to stay forever. I want my kids to have a life of their own, I want my family to have a life of their own, and for as long as I am where I am they will always be Julius Malema’s children.” He said.

Malema said he does not subscribe to the western definition of political term limits.

“If the EFF nominates me to be its president for the third, fourth and fifth time, I will be available until going to retirement. There is no term limit and I’m not going to be defining terms acco9rding to colonial imperils definitions of terms.”

The firebrand leader said he was not worried about being stereotyped as an authoritarian, saying he was proud of African leaders like former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

“Leaders must learn to let go. When the time is right I will leave. When I am 55, I am leaving whether as president of SA or as the EFF leader. I have done so many things at an early age.” Said Malema.

The red berets have made a litany of promises to voters ahead of the elections.

During the launch of the EFF manifesto last week, Malema pledged to provide voters with free services such as electricity and water and provide municipal bursaries.

Malema said this was imperative for Sassa beneficiaries whose chances of accessing higher education are slim due to their poor backgrounds.

“The municipality will go to the Department of Education and ask ‘where are the chidden of our municipality who have passed matric? And then look through that list as to which one s come from poor families and allocate bursaries to them.” He said.

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