Julius Malema says intimidation will not stop party from campaigning
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DURBAN - EFF leader Julius Malema says no amount of intimidation will deter him and his supporters from campaigning in every corner of South Africa, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.
This is after ugly scenes of confrontation between ANC and EFF supporters were captured live on television in Dambuza, Edendale, in Pietermaritzburg yesterday. The two groups of supporters had set up tables outside the voting station as part of campaigning for their respective parties and throughout sought to out-sing each other.
However, tempers flared when the EFF leader arrived, and ANC supporters attempted to block him from entering the hall. Dambuza is home to SACP secretary-general Blade Nzimande and late ANC leader Harry Gwala, and the area is regarded as an ANC stronghold.
ANC members said Malema was not allowed to enter the venue and this resulted in a scuffle over the opening of the hall gate which was eventually broken and the EFF leader and his supporters entered the hall.
Following this, a fight broke out between supporters before police arrived to calm the situation.
“What we are seeing here is the level of intolerance from the ANC; we are campaigning freely, not provoking anyone and their members are trying to intimidate us, but that is not going to scare us,” said Malema.
The EFF leader – who had been on a campaign trail in KZN over the weekend – told the media that he was encouraged by the support that his party was receiving in the province, and predicted a good showing at the local government elections in November.
“Our message is resonating with young people and we are happy to see that, because the direction and the future of this country will be determined by young people,” Malema said.
An ANC supporter from the area, Nokuthula Dlamini, accused Malema’s bodyguards of beating her. “How dare you beat a woman, you have no shame, you will never win here,” she said.
ANC Moses Mabhida regional task team co-ordinator Mandla Zondi condemned the confrontation at the voting station, insisting that every party should be allowed to campaign freely.
“We will investigate the matter and if one of our members is found to have acted inappropriately, we will take the necessary steps and deal with them.”
According to Electoral Commission of SA staff at the community hall, 141 people had registered and this had been a massive improvement from the previous day. It was alleged people had been injured at the scene, but attempts to get police confirmation were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa was on the campaign trail in Mtubatuba in northern KZN while some party leaders canvassed for votes in the hostels in uMlazi and KwaMashu.
The DA in KZN will launch its election campaign in the province today.
The party said DA KZN leader, MPL Francois Rodgers, will address the launch, presenting the case for how the DA gets things done for all people.
The DA has been on the campaign trail across the province and said it had been pleased with the “ever-growing enthusiasm and positivity” from the voters of KZN.