ANC heavyweights Gwede Mantashe, Aaron Motsoaledi and Malusi Gigaba at the National Results Operation Centre in Pretoria. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Pretoria - ANC heavyweight Malusi Gigaba on Friday accused the EFF of being “sour losers”.

“They need to stop being sour losers and accept they only have one million voters and they have lost,” he told reporters at the IEC national results operations centre in Pretoria.

The minister of public enterprises was responding to the Economic Freedom Fighters' complaint about votes in Gauteng coming in slowly, allegedly after counting having been completed in the province.

Gigaba also accused opposition parties of trying to tarnish the image of the ruling African National Congress and that of the IEC by complaining about ballot boxes and papers that are being discovered in Gauteng.

“We expected the opposition parties to complain. This is all their fabrication so that they can turn around and blame the ANC and IEC. They need not tarnish the image of the IEC, the election was properly run,” he said.

Gigaba said the ANC, which surpassed the 10 million votes mark, was humbled by the faith and support shown by South Africans. He said they would repay the faith by hitting the ground running after the election.

“It is no longer about celebrating - hard work lies ahead. We need to hit the ground running,” he said.

The EFF is led by Julius Malema who was expelled from the ANC when he was president of its youth league.

Preliminary results showed that the EFF had 1 002 355 votes by 7.05am on Friday which could translate to at least 20 seats in Parliament. - Sapa