Sign of the times: Road signs in Richards Bay and Empangeni were spraypainted with EFF slogans this week. The party has distanced itself from the vandalism.

Durban - With the elections looming and money tight, Economic Freedom Fighters supporters have resorted to desperate measures to campaign.

Members of Julius Malema’s party have spraypainted messages on road signs, instead of putting up posters for the May 7 poll.

Road signs and bus stop benches in Richards Bay and Empangeni have been defaced with black-and-red slogans, such as “Vote EFF”.

Police spokesman Inspector Mbongeni Mdlalose said they had held a meeting with local EFF leaders about the graffiti.

The culprits would face charges of malicious damage to property, but no arrests had been made.

The Umhlathuze municipality was also trying to track down the culprits.

EFF regional secretary Rebecca Mohlala said they were aware of the graffiti but distanced the party from it

“None of the members were responsible for the act.

“We held an emergency meeting to discuss the graffiti messages and we strongly condemn the act.”

IEC provincial spokesman Thabani Ngwira said the incident was disappointing, especially after parties had signed a pledge of campaign tolerance.

“The IEC can’t take any action against such acts but we disapprove.”

This month, Malema tackled the IEC over election fees, rejecting what he said were high deposits required from parties wanting to contest the elections.

In court papers, Malema said the fees were unconstitutional and unfair to new entrants, and violated the right to vote and be voted for.

The deposit for contesting seats in the National Assembly is R200 000, up from R180 000 in the previous election, while parties contesting provincial legislatures have to pay R45 000, up from R40 000, per province.

A party contesting the national and all provincial elections will therefore have to pay a deposit of R605 000.

“For an organisation like the EFF, R600 000 can print lots of campaign posters instead of giving it to the IEC,” Malema said.

After losing their court bid, Malema said the party had used money made from selling berets, T-shirts, posters, and donations from members to pay the deposit. - Independent on Saturday