Johannesburg - The ANC should be worried by the EFF winning 10 percent of the votes in Gauteng in the general election, the EFF's Dali Mpofu said on Thursday.
“If I was the ANC I would be worried about that,” Mpofu said at The New Age breakfast briefing in Johannesburg.
“We are represented in all nine provinces, all the legislatures. To me that is priceless. We have a footprint around the country.”
He said the Economic Freedom Fighters was the fastest growing party in the country.
“The ANC has lost 15 seats, that's the reality. The DA (Democratic Alliance) gained 22 seats and the EFF gained 25 seats so we are the fastest growing party in South Africa. That trend is definitely going to continue.”
He said the ANC needed to learn how to govern differently.
After listening to opinions from a panel of political analysts, Mpofu said the election results should be looked at in a proper perspective.
He said the EFF could not be compared to the Congress of the People, that came third in the 2009 election and was the new party at the time.
“We started off eight months ago. We didn't have any money. And the ANC and the media blemished our leader, not like Cope,” he said.
“The media was used against us, all sorts of shenanigans were used - we were denied stadia, our adverts were banned, our posters were removed… so it was clear.”
Despite this, the EFF campaigned effectively and took 10 percent of the votes in Gauteng.
Throughout the run-up to the elections, the ANC did not underestimate the EFF, he said.
“The ANC did not underestimate us. They had no illusions. Other people were rubbishing us,” said Mpofu.
“They (the ANC) know we know the game. We know how to go to the ground and how to work the ground. The ANC knows that. We are going to show that going forward.
Before Mpofu spoke, political analyst Adam Habib said the controversy around the Nkandla saga had played a role in the election.
“I think Nkandla hurt the ruling party. It seems to me that the ANC paid the cost of it. If I was the ruling party, I'd be very, very worried.
“If you lose these big cities, if you lose the middle class, you cannot claim to be a party of modernity, you cannot claim to be a cosmopolitan party of the 21st century.”
He said the results of the elections had sent a strong message to the ruling party.
Mpofu later said because of the false information by TNA, the EFF would walk out of the briefing.
“Normally we would not have been invited here to this breakfast before the elections. Now elections are over, we are invited here,” he said before he and other EFF members walked out.
“We were invited here on the basis that we were going to be part of the panel. I think that somebody got a fright at Luthuli House (ANC headquarters) and we've now been told that we are not going to be on the panel.
“Because we were hoodwinked to come here and participate… and then it didn't happen, to show you what kind of protest politics we are going to combine with parliamentary politics, we've decided to walk out of this breakfast right now for that purpose.”
The host of the show Ayanda-Allie Paine interrupted Mpofu and said it was going to an advertising break.
“This is for the purposes of advertisers and not to get rid of you. Please do sit down and enjoy breakfast with us,” she told him.
Mpofu replied: “I'm sorry we have to go.”
The group of about six members, brightly clad in red EFF attire, then stood up and briskly walked out to the astonishment of guests, shaking hands with some.
Afterwards, Paine explained why the EFF had not been allowed to be a part of the panel.
“We did invite all major players, the top four (political) parties. Some refused to come. It would not have been fitting practically,” she said.
“We wanted to have all or nothing.”
Thursday's breakfast did not include political parties on the panel. Political analysts, including Steven Friedman and Habib, were part of the panel and spoke about the 2014 elections, previous elections, and what the results meant for some parties. - Sapa