Newly-elected EFF Eastern Cape provincial leaders. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters has finally elected a new legitimate leadership structure in the Eastern Cape province after the previous one was disbanded two years ago. 

Yazini Tetyana, who has been the provincial convener since the disbanding, was elected as the new chairman after garnering 391 votes against his opponent, Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Zilindile Vena, who received 223 votes.

Almost half of the delegates walked out of the main auditorium after the announcement of the results, in what appeared to be a sign of anger that their preferred candidates had not won.

The one-day assembly was held in East London at the weekend, having been postponed two weeks ago due to financial difficulties. 

Some 600 delegates attended out of 900 that were expected to vote. 

EFF national chairman Dali Mpofu said the turnover was over 70 percent, satisfying the party's threshold.

"In fact, the trend has been the same across the provinces where we have been sitting at 65-70 percent," he said.

In his maiden address, the newly elected chairperson noted the walk-out but said the EFF in the province had a bigger task to campaign for next year's national elections.

Tetyana vowed not to allow factions to thrive in the new provincial structure and the entire party membership.

"I am not a chairperson of a faction, I am a chairperson of a political organisation the EFF," he said.

This weekend's loss was not the first defeat for Tetyana's opponent Vena in the last twelve months after he lost the chairmanship of Nelson Mandela Bay's regional command team earlier this year.

African News Agency/ANA