Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema File picture: Itumeleng English / African News Agency (ANA)
Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema File picture: Itumeleng English / African News Agency (ANA)

EFF fears elections won’t be fair, calls for postponement

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 30, 2021

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The EFF has reiterated its call for the 2021 local government elections to be postponed as it fears opposition political parties will be disadvantaged.

This year's elections by law should take place between August and November 2021.

EFF leader Julius Malema said for free and fair elections to take place, political parties should be able to campaign freely and interact with voters.

He said none of these activities, which were crucial in an election year, have taken place this year. The party believes because of the conditions created by the pandemic, free, fair and safe elections will not be possible this year.

Malema said on Tuesday that the party had written to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to convene a meeting with all political parties so the issue of postponement can be discussed.

The party is not the only party calling for a postponement. The UDM has also proposed the issue.

Some parties have called for the national and provincial elections, scheduled for 2024, to be synchronised with the 2021 local government elections.

Malema said if this is not possible, then discussions have to revolve around a postponement.

"We must postpone because we have not done anything this year. We will not have contact with voters, we cannot say the elections were free and fair. How do you do that under these conditions?,“ he said.

Malema said the EFF was not afraid to take on the ANC, but his main concern was around fairness and safety.

Besides the party's calls for a postponement of this year's elections, Malema said the EFF's ground forces should be ready to contest. He said no EFF councillor was guaranteed a councillor position and that anyone within the structures can stand for election.

EFF members wishing to stand for wards across the country need to collect about 500 names from each ward.

Each ward will have four possible candidates, two women and two men, and those candidates will be selected by those 500 individuals from those communities. The final candidate for a ward will undergo a rigorous background check, Malema explained.

Malema also used the press conference to criticise the government over an "austerity budget" and a cut in spending. Malema said instead of cutting spending, the government should be channelling more funds into critical areas such as manufacturing to drive job creation.

The EFF has also bemoaned the state of various municipalities around the country, saying many were largely underfunded.

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