20/06/2013 Former ANCYL president, Julius Malema arrive at the Polokwane High court accompanied by Floyd Shivambu (back left) Picture: Phill Magakoe

Cape Town - The ANC in the Eastern Cape has emerged as the first structure of the ruling party to express concern about fired ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s new political party.

The party on Wednesday accused Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters and other “smaller parties”, which it said were proliferating, of using ordinary South Africans as “useful idiots”.

This came as the youth league’s national task team made it clear this week, after it summarily expelled Malema’s right-hand man, Floyd Shivambu, that it would deal decisively with Malema’s supporters who were still within their ranks.

Speaking ahead of the start of the provincial ANC elective conference, which starts in Port Elizabeth today, provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane, however, said the party was ready to take on any opposition come next year’s elections.

This came days after President Jacob Zuma told journalists at the SA National Editors’ Forum’s media briefing in Johannesburg that he and the ruling party were not concerned about Malema and Mamphela Ramphele’s new parties.

Mabuyane, who is also fighting for his political survival, said the party was concerned about disgruntled members who jumped ship to start their own parties.

“People are playing with emotions of our ordinary people,” Mabuyane added.

Cape Times