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Pretoria - Ongoing legal woes and “political persecution” will not derail EFF leader Julius Malema's ambition of becoming the next president, party officials said on Thursday.
The party would roll-out “intervention programmes” to prevent Malema's sequestration, Economic Freedom Fighters spokesman Floyd Shivambu said in Pretoria.
“Whoever thought that they are going to prevent Julius Malema from being president of South Africa are basically day-dreaming. We are not in a crisis,” said Shivambu.
“The EFF is going to be the government of South Africa and the sooner people get used to that, the better. We are speaking here as a government-in-waiting so get used to us because you will be seeing us frequently, as a government,” he told reporters.
The party and its members were undivided in supporting Malema in his court battles to avoid sequestration.
“That provisional sequestration will never be final. The legal processes we are engaged in are going to be successful. If they are not, that money is going to be paid even if it was R20 million or R50 million,” he said.
Malema was provisionally sequestrated by the High Court in Pretoria on Monday. The application was brought by the SA Revenue Service.
Malema owes the taxman more than R16m after failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010.
A draft order was signed and made an order of the court. Malema and anyone else who does not want the order to be made final has until 10am on May 26 to give reasons as to why this should not happen.
Shivambu said the party could simply raise R16m by getting R32 from each of the almost 500,000 members it claimed it had.
The party's justice portfolio head Dali Mpofu said “a full-frontal attack” would be launched against all provisions which banned Malema from assuming public office owing to his beleaguered financial status.
“From our ideological perspective, this is just palpable nonsense. It is going to be a huge fight and I am more than optimistic that it is going to be successful,” Mpofu said.
“The fight is in the high court now. It might go to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and it would go to the Constitutional Court. Through all those stages we will be mounting the biggest political fight to protect the poor from being disenfranchised.”
Mpofu said “misleading claims” were being spread by the SA Revenue Service and the media insinuating that Malema would not be able to assume public office after the May 7 general elections.
“The Constitution says every adult citizen has the right to stand for public office and if elected, to hold office. It doesn't say every solvent citizen or every white or black citizen,” Mpofu said.
“We will not allow a situation where any citizen is disenfranchised because they are poor. They don't call us fighters for nothing.”