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Pretoria - Other political players in South Africa should award the newly-formed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) an opportunity to spur its own support base without intimidation, party leader Julius Malema said on Monday.
Malema addressed scores of his supporters at the headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission in Centurion, shortly after receiving his party’s registration certificate to contest the 2014 elections.
“This certificate means we are now going to contest the elections. We are a legal organisation which must be respected and be given space to mobilise and organise in South Africa for support, including for the votes next year,” he said.
“On Sunday, we are in Marikana (North West) to say to the people, ‘Here is our certificate, we are a political party. A giant has been born, a giant that will give radical change to the politics of South Africa’,” Malema said.
As Malema waved the certificate to his supporters, they chanted and sang songs denouncing President Jacob Zuma.
They sang “Sibatshelile uJuju uyeza” (We told them Malema is coming) while running around the parking lot. Some also chanted ‘Dubula Zuma” (shoot Zuma) in reference to President Jacob Zuma.
Malema said the party was intensifying its campaign to galvanise support.
“We will talk about many things on Sunday (in Marikana). I would like to thank (you for your) patience and discipline,” he told the supporters.
The EFF is scheduled to hold its national official public launch on Sunday at the hill in Marikana where 34 mineworkers were shot by police on August 16 last year.
Malema, who used to be an outspoken supporter of Zuma and president of the ANC Youth League, formed the EFF this year after being expelled from the ANC.
He would not grant interviews on Monday and was whisked off in a grey BMW 7 series driven by EFF spokesman Floyd Shivambu. - Sapa