Johannesburg - Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters has vowed to wage a pound-for-pound electioneering war with the ANC to secure seats in parliament and the provincial legislatures.
On Thursday, the EFF leader unveiled his ambitious plan in which he promised to cause political upsets, particularly for the ANC – his former political home – during the upcoming elections.
The former ANC Youth League leader said his new party would field 400 candidates for the national parliament and the maximum number of candidates required for each provincial legislature.
Malema and his recent recruit, advocate Dali Mpofu, who is defending injured mineworkers in the Farlam Commission of Inquiry following the Marikana massacre in August 2012, appeared upbeat about the EFF’s prospects.
Both of them cut their political teeth in the ANC and held senior positions in the party.
The two announced that they would launch the EFF’s party manifesto in Tembisa on February 22.
“EFF has grown by leaps and bounds since the Marikana launch. Thousands of South Africans have joined the EFF and thousands of volunteers across the country.
“We can now proudly announce that all provinces have no less than 10 000 EFF election volunteers, who will be engaged in community meetings, door-to-door campaigns, motorcades, mini-rallies, rallies, house meetings and all other forms of campaigns to mobilise, organise and educate the people of South Africa that the EFF is the only solution to the political and economic crisis of South Africa,” Malema said.
He said he was pinning his hopes on more than 400 000 members since the party’s formation in August last year. He said each of the members had paid R10 each for membership.
Malema said his party had appointed an auditing firm to do an audit of its membership, but was confident the number would grow before the release of the final audit.
He hopes that before the elections his party would have more than 1 million registered members, but conceded some members, particularly in the rural areas of the Northern Cape, had been finding it difficult to raise R10.
“They have to wait for a harvesting period. If they manage to get those few rand, they have to think about feeding their families. People in the Northern Cape are living in difficult conditions.”
Malema said his party was also talking to various political parties and organisations, including prominent individuals, but said ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and suspended Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi were not among them.
He also said his party was planning to have talks with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), Cosatu’s biggest affiliate and funder, following its decision not to support the ANC in the elections.
“All workers should be like Numsa and appreciate that the ANC is not and will never be a vehicle to liberate the working class, because they still believe that social grants and lousy RDP houses are a means to emancipate the working class,” Malema said.
He also derided claims that his party was funded by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF, saying “how can Zanu PF, a political ally of the ANC, support EFF?”