Cape Town - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema failed to show up on Friday at an election campaign stop in Cape Town.
Malema was meant to hold a news briefing in Manenberg - a gang shooting hotspot - but did not pitch.
He was also meant to address a mini-rally in Mfuleni on Thursday night, but never arrived.
Explaining Malema's absence in Manenberg, EFF Western Cape convenor Nazier Paulsen said: “We are often accused of being a one-man party so today we are proving to the media and the world out there that we are not a one-man party.
“The commander-in-chief Julius Malema is not the only leader of this organisation. We have very capable leadership.”
The EFF chose Manenberg as one of its campaign stops because the area had “significance”.
“This is a gang-infested community and this is also a community that is so bad that the premier of this province has refused to enter it, but we as the EFF, say that in South Africa there are no no-go areas...” Paulsen said.
A Manenberg community worker, who identified herself only as Pat, expressed disappointment at Malema's absence.
“That is how the word was spread that Julius Malema was going to be here, not his foot soldiers,” she said.
Pat said political parties never visited the area much before election campaigning.
“I think that when it's election time everyone wants to come and ride on the community's backs. That's the problem that I have,” she said.
Asked whether she would be voting, Pat said: “I'm rethinking it.”
Malema is in Cape Town, but Paulsen and others were keeping mum on his whereabouts.
The EFF leader is expected to be the main speaker at the provincial launch of the party's election manifesto in Khayelitsha on Saturday. - Sapa