Manifesto fever grips Durban; the celebratory mood is activated, and the wait is finally over for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members as they paint the streets red, lined with red flags, in anticipation of witnessing the address by their leader, Julius Malema, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
"Viva EFF Viva! CIC Julius Malema for president," dressed in full party regalia, EFF supporters sang and danced, holding placards bearing a picture of Malema while entering the stadium in numbers.
There is excitement and a festive mood in the stadium as women and girls, some of them attending a launch for the first time, receive free sanitary pads.
Video: Jehran Naidoo
The party has distributed free sanitary pads to all the members attending its manifesto launch.
The EFF, the third-largest party in the country, boasts a membership of more than one million.
Speaking to IOL, Moshoene Kubyane, from Soweto in Gauteng, who has worked as a merchandiser for the party since 2013, said he joined the EFF because of its land policy.
"I was with the ANC before joining the EFF. Malema has always talked about the land issue since we were in the ANC Youth League. He continues to focus on it even in the EFF. This is when I started following him," he said.
He expressed hope for Malema to give them a signal ahead of the elections. Malema will outline the party’s priorities and promises to voters ahead of the 2024 national and provincial elections.
The party hopes to fill the over 56,000-seater stadium.
Many supporters expect Malema to address the issue of the high unemployment rate, job creation, poverty, gender-based violence, crime, and load shedding.
On safety measures, the party has deployed security forces to ensure that their programme runs smoothly with a wide variety of activities including music performances.
Party officials inspected the stadium on Wednesday and said all logistics related to supporters coming from all corners of KwaZulu-Natal were sorted.
The @EFFSouthAfrica's election campaign will be ramped up when it launches its manifesto in eThekwini where a sea of red is expected to pack Moses Mabhida stadium to the rafters.#EFFManifestoLaunch #Stage6— IOL News (@IOL) February 10, 2024
Read more here: https://t.co/NS6KQJoI7q
Video: @JehranD/@IOL pic.twitter.com/cIirefc836
The official programme is expected to start at midday. The masses are flocking into the stadium.
Meanwhile, metres away from the EFF rally, former radio personality Ngizwe Mchunu has allegedly been told by Police to pack and leave Gugu Dlamini Park he intended to host Amabhinca Festival.
Earlier this year, Mchunu threatened to stop Malema from hosting his manifesto at Moses Mabhida Stadium.