EFF leader Julius Malema greets supporters outside the Newcastle Magistrate's Court on Monday. Picture: Supplied

Durban - Economic Freedom Fighters’ supporters needed to put aside their emotions and think about the state of the South African economy, particularly Eskom, Julius Malema said on Monday. 

“It is time to think now, it is time to put emotions aside,” said Malema. 

He was addressing a large crowd outside the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on Monday following a brief appearance on charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act. The case was postponed.

 “If you are working for Eskom, the ANC is going to retrench you. If you are working for SAA, the ANC is going to retrench you. The ANC wants to sell state-owned companies to private companies, and once they sell them, private companies are going to retrench you.” 

The governing party had shown through its handling of the Eskom crisis that it thought black people working at the institution were “lazy”, he said.

“[The ANC says] you can’t think as a black manager.” 

The ANC was saying that whites were better than blacks, but they still wanted black votes, he said. 

“[The EFF] are the only ones who are saying that we will not sell the state-owned companies, we will make them work better. How are we going to do that? We are going to remove the ANC deployed incompetent cadres and hire competent black people to run effective state-owned companies.”

 Malema said corruption at SOEs was fuelled by “deployment of incompetent ANC people who are just channelling money into the ANC”. 

Referring to Eskom’s newest power plants, Medupi and Kusile, Malema said government had announced that they were “badly designed” and that as a result, the poor construction meant they were producing inadequate energy supply. 

“Who built the power stations?” asked Malema. “It was an ANC company called Chancellor House that built Medupi and Kusile, which are failing us today [because] the ANC deployed cadres in Eskom who channelled the tender to the ANC and built corrupt power stations which are not giving us the required electricity.

“The problem is not Eskom, the problem is the deployed ANC cadres who are channelling money into the ANC companies. That’s why we don’t have electricity today.

“They milk Eskom and when the money is finished they switch off electricity and they call it loadshedding.” 

But, said Malema, once Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced in his budget speech that government would be bailing out Eskom with R69 billion in public funds over three years, there was no more loadshedding. “All they wanted was more money.”

 When the bailout money was utilised, the lights would be “switched off” again, he said. 

African News Agency/ANA