Picture: Raahil Sain

Port Elizabeth - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema came out guns blazing on Wednesday, at a rally held at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in Nelson Mandela Bay, ahead of the no confidence vote against Mayor Athol Trollip.

"You must never have sleepless nights because gangsters [Patriotic Alliance (PA)] have sided with Trollip. As long as we have said that Trollip is going he will go. If he survives tomorrow we will come back again," Malema said. 

"We are coming for him. How many motions did Zuma survive? Where is Zuma now?" he said adding that he did not care if Trollip continued to lead and prophesied that the mayor would not serve a full term. 

The vote against Trollip is set to take place at a special council meeting on Thursday. 

Malema was in the city to explain to his electorate why the party had taken the decision to bring a motion to have Trollip removed. He said the reason boiled down to the Democratic Alliance (DA) not supporting the expropriation of land without compensation. 

"Why are they fighting like this? It's because they think [Port Elizabeth] PE belongs to a white man and Malema wants to take it from a white man and take it back to blacks who don't deserve to run PE. This is our land too, PE belongs to us too it's not Europe." 

Malema said that he did not "hate white people" but there were fundamental differences when it came to the issue of land in that the DA said people should be given low-cost RDP houses and not land. 

"When we speak [about] the land we speak [about] the forceful removal of our people, when we speak [about] the land we speak [about] the wars that have taken place in the Eastern Cape...we remember the killing by the settlers...we remember the sjamboks, we remember the houses that were demolished by the regime, why are they reducing this to RDP houses? When we speak [about] the land we speak [about] the deep pain of African people." 

At the packed hall, Malema told his supporters that the decision was based on strategy and the EFF were trying to achieve a goal of obtaining Nelson Mandela Bay in the long run and giving back the land to black people. 

"The land issue in the EFF is a cardinal pillar - we are not loyal to anyone, we are loyal to the land. Anyone who wants the land is our friend. Some of your leaders are asking why we are not going into government. We are not going into a government that will not give you the land," he said.

"We did not say that white people must leave this country. No white person will leave because of us. We are saying that the land must be owned by all according to the demographics. White people must own land, women must own land but more black people must own land."

Malema told the crowd that he did not "hate white people" but he did "love black people" and would accelerate the black-cause for black people suffering in the poorest of communities. 

"Under Trollip our people are suffering, he came here and he cut the electricity of our people, to reconnect its R300, where must our people get that?" 

He vowed that the EFF in Nelson Mandela Bay would not support any budgets brought before council. 

Malema also ridiculed Trollip for "bragging" about a 92 percent by-election win in ward 1 in Nelson Mandela Bay. 

"He [Trollip] does not know, but, he is exposing himself, it just shows that there are no black people in ward one because the houses there are expensive. PE has not transformed, there is a problem here. PE belongs to us too, it doesn't belong to Elizabeth in Europe," he said. 

Malema has been labelled by his critics as an all time fascist and in a fiery address he defended himself, saying that he had not killed anyone. 

"A fascist in South Africa is an organisation that goes to court to protect the powers of the Public Protector. A fascist in South Africa is an organisation that makes a corrupt president pay back the money and step down. That the new definition of fascism in South Africa, because we are fascists we are useless like that. A fascist is the one who says we need equal rights and opportunities between black and white. A fascist in South Africa says that the children of the poor must go to school free of charge," Malema said.

"They said to me you said that you would kill for Zuma and then you apologised, therefore you are fascist. But [President Cyril] Ramaphosa never said that he was going to kill for anyone, he said he needed concomitant action against the workers in Marikana, they were killed those workers - Ramaphosa is not a fascist, he is a democratic, he is the type of person you must follow according to the new definition. I never killed anyone in this country and I've never assaulted anyone." 

Earlier this month, the EFF, which helped the DA to gain control of the metro from the African National Congress (ANC) after the August 2016 local government elections, filed a motion of no confidence against Trollip. 

The EFF needs the support of every other opposition party, including the ANC, to make up the 61-vote majority in the council of 120 seats. 

The DA, with its remaining coalition partners the Congress of the People (Cope) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), together have 59 seats, while the ANC has 50, the EFF six, the UDM two and the PA, AIC and UF one each. 

PA leader Gayton McKenzie said in an open letter to the ANC that they would not vote against Trollip purely on the basis that he is white. 

PA councillor Marlon Daniels has since signed the coalition co-governance agreement for the second time following the finalisation of a deal between the DA and PA on Tuesday, with Daniels set to be given the deputy mayor position and that of political head for roads and transport. 

The deputy mayor position was previously done away with at council but that decision, if passed at council, is set to be rescinded to enable Daniels to be accommodated. 

African News Agency/ANA