EFF leader Julius Malema and secretary-general Godrich Gardee. Picture: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - As the EFF’s second national elective conference draws closer, party leader Julius Malema has taken a swipe at its secretary-general Godrich Gardee for failing to sell the red berets internationally despite growing interest in the organisation.

Malema was speaking at the Nasrec Expo Centre south of Joburg, where the EFF will hold its second national assembly in December. He led a delegation of the party’s top leadership, including Gardee, deputy president Floyd Shivambu, national chairperson Dali Mpofu, deputy secretary Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi and treasurer-general Leigh-Ann Mathys on a site visit.

While Malema and Shivambu were expected to retain their seats, all other national officials, including Mpofu and Gardee, were expected to face fierce contest as some structures want them replaced.

Malema said he was expecting Gardee to explain at the conference why the party performed dismally in other countries.

“A lot of interest has been shown in the continent and internationally towards the EFF but the EFF does not grab that opportunity with both hands and I don’t understand (why). Maybe the SG (Gardee) when he gives that report will explain why we failed to appreciate the fact that the continent and the international community is receiving the EFF very well,” he said.

Gardee is set to face-off with EFF MP Marshall Dlamini, who is backed by Malema allies, for his position. 

“We have taken a conscious decision to try and engage with the international community because some of us are ashamed that the SG’s report is going to be very empty when it comes to international relations,” Malema said. 

Malema is expected to head to Nigeria to meet different stakeholders, including MPs and governors in a bid to market the EFF internationally.

He also warned the party’s structures against publicly discussing their leadership preferences ahead of the upcoming national conference.

This included Mpumalanga chairperson Collen Sedibe, who was recently captured on video boasting about being behind an anti-Mpofu lobby.

“He has been reprimanded strongly, that this is not done in the EFF… run to the media. He has since apologised and we accepted his apology,” he said.

Malema maintained that members had to raise their preferred leaders on the floor at the conference, as the party did not have branch nominations ahead of its elective conferences like the ANC. Mpofu has refused to reveal whether he would avail himself for re-election.

Political Bureau