Windhoek - The Economic Freedom Fighters party, led by firebrand Julius Malema, has spawned a sister party in neighbouring Namibia, officials of the new group said Wednesday.
The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) would be a “radical left”, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement, said businessman-turned-politician Epafras Mukwiilongo.
Mukwiilongo, who styles himself “commander in chief” of the NEFF in emulation of Malema's title, said the new party would be registered soon and would compete in national elections in December.
The policies of Malema's EFF, which won 25 seats in parliament in May elections, include the nationalisation of mines and banks and the seizure of white-owned land without compensation.
Namibia's Mukwiilongo has previously been a member of both the ruling Swapo party and the opposition Congress of Democrats in the southwest African country.
He and his deputy, former opposition youth leader Kalimbo Iipumbu, arrived in the Namibian capital Windhoek from South Africa on Tuesday, where they said they had talks with Malema.
The two men were wearing red outfits and red berets similar to those worn by the EFF, but with an NEFF logo.
They were welcomed at the airport by around 25 people, who were given branded t-shirts and berets.
Mukwiilongo said the creation of the NEFF was the “birth of a giant” that would fight for economic freedom and accused the Swapo-led Namibian government of favouring “capitalist interests” at the expense of the citizens.
“Our government is busy empowering the Chinese and Indians to destroy local businesspeople,” Mukwiilongo said in a statement issued to AFP on Wednesday.
“We are a very rich country that can take care of itself if the government ensures industrialisation and processing of our minerals in Namibia,” Mukwiilongo said.
Mukwiilongo said his party would also target homosexuality, claiming to have received some $250 000 in funding from “international anti-homosexual organisations” during a visit to Uganda last week.
“Today, the imperialists are manipulating/influencing our nation through homosexual practices,” Mukwiilongo said.
“The NEFF is committed to uniting all Namibians to root out this evil practice.”
A spokesman for the EFF in South Africa declined immediate comment on the Namibian development, saying the party would issue a statement later Wednesday.