Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema File photo: Motshwari Mofokeng

Moretele - President Jacob Zuma built himself an expensive swimming pool while many South African communities did not have basic services, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Wednesday.

“You do not have water, electricity, houses and schools but Zuma took R2.8 million and built a swimming pool,” he told protesting Makapanstad residents at the Moretele local municipal offices in North West.

“You don't have water but Zuma swims in a R2.8 million swimming pool and you have nothing.

“They (ANC supporters) will come to you asking for your vote so that Zuma would build more swimming pools. Tell them that Zuma's cattle, which got a R1 million kraal, should vote for him.”

He urged people to continue protesting until their demands were met.

“Do not be ashamed, continue to march and to protest and we will support you. Even in the future when you need us, the EFF will be with you,” he said to applause from the crowd.

He said the Economic Freedom Fighters was “the only real alternative and the rest are mickey mouses.

“That is why they are trying to block us from going to Parliament because we will expose the truth. The EFF is the only organisation that speaks truth to power. It is the only organisation that tells the truth,” Malema said.

“We know your living conditions, we shall die next to you. We will be buried next you.”

He began his speech by hitting out at police for the recent shootings of protesters.

“I was told by EFF officials that officers here are used to killing people and we have come to join you so that they may kill us also,” Malema said.

“North West police have started killing people again... fortunately today they are well behaved. We need officers who are behaved. Nobody will stop you from marching. If possible, march every day because there are no services.”

Numerous police officers were stationed at the entrance of the municipal offices as the EFF supporters marched to the building.

The EFF congregated near the buildings and set up a public address system.

Malema said African National Congress-led municipalities had failed people and were employing their relatives and sexual partners.

“These offices have been converted into bedrooms. Half of the time people are sleeping in there. What they know is to throw parties and buy expensive cars. This is the time to change your votes. The ANC is an organisation of the black elite,” he said.

“If you are a member of the ANC you should be ashamed because you are part of a group which failed our people. Take that T-shirt and use it to scrub the floor. If you use it as a night dress, you will have nightmares.”

Malema was introduced at the crowd as “the president of South Africa in waiting”.

He told the crowd to shun violence during protests, and said his party would help those who got arrested during strikes.

“If you are arrested, we will release you from prison. Those who need bail, we will pay for it. When you are released from jail, go back to the protest,” Malema said.

“Let us direct our power to the enemy. Madiba (Nelson Mandela) gave you the power. Your vote is your power. Stop burning buildings, it's a waste of time.”

Several members of the ANC peered out from inside the municipal premises as Malema addressed the crowd. A throng in yellow T-shirts bearing Zuma's image marched out of the premises, singing, as soon as Malema left the venue.

A nearby supermarket shut its doors as protesters began to gather. Police continued to monitor the situation.