ANC Eastern Cape provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi, OR Tambo District Municipality executive mayor Nomakhosazana Meth and ANC OR Tambo regional task team convenor Ntandokazi Capa with the new party members. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

East London - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape has welcomed three prominent Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members to its ranks ahead of Wednesday's general election. 

EFF Eastern Cape provincial organiser Phumzile Ketwa, OR Tambo regional secretary Mzwamadoda Sitshalwa - who is also a PR councillor and whip at King Sabatha Dalindyebo Municipality, and regional chairman at OR Tambo and the party's PR councillor and whip at OR Tambo District Municipality, Unathi Ketwa, donned their ANC colours on Monday. 

Speaking to the media after the obligatory shirt swapping ceremony, Ketwa said he was leaving the EFF because it abused internal process that should have been democratic and did not allow structures to question party decisions.  

"When I joined EFF in 2013 I thought I was joining a political organisation, but it turned out to be a military organisation that is ruled by an iron fist," said Ketwa. 

Sitshalwa said he left because he was able to pursue the same objectives - such as land redistribution and economic freedom - through the ANC. 

ANC Eastern Cape provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said the newly defected members believed that the ANC was the only political party that could play a leading role in the transformation of South African society. 

"They believe that the EFF does not welcome views differing from those of the leadership, in particular the [party leader Julius Malema]."

Ngcukayitobi said the ANC would utilise the trio's energy and abilities to contribute towards the renewal of the governing party and the country.  

"We have no doubt that these individuals will make a valuable contribution given the immense organisational knowledge and the skills they have, to help the ANC, and we welcome their joining the only liberation movement," said Ngcukayitobi.

EFF Eastern Cape chairman Yazini Tetyana said he was aware that the members had defected. "They are exercising their democratic right to associate with any political party they want to associate with." 

He said the EFF would continue to grow with people who viewed it as their only hope for economic emancipation.

African News Agency (ANA)