EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Kim Ludbrook EPA African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - EFF leader Julius Malema said the party’s strides in KwaZulu-Natal were because of the hard work that had been done on the ground.

He was speaking at a party press conference on Thursday at the party's head office in Johannesburg. The EFF increased its share of the vote in KZN from 70 000 votes in 2014, to just under 350 000 votes in the recent polls.

Speaking at the media briefing, Malema said the growth in KZN was because they had been decisive in dissolving the provincial leadership and starting from scratch.

“In KZN we dissolved the leadership, including the entire membership, we restructured and we worked the ground and you accused us of factionalism. We dissolved membership and this is how we got the results,” said Malema.

Malema said EFF MPs Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Marshall Dlamini were deployed to KZN to boost their efforts.

The party also made significant strides in universities in the KZN area.

“Our performance in the local elections was dysmal, so we re-strategized and we experienced growth now with the national elections because there was sufficient time deployed. We believe much more could have been done in the Western Cape and Free State. Those who were deployed did not give us what we expected,” he said.

Malema sounded a warning to EFF MPs and councillors who are accused of not campaigning for the party in the recent elections.

“We are not going to sit with deadwood, we are going to replace them and we make no apologies about it. In the same way we will replace these councillors that are useless,” said Malema.

“You have to invest in the organisation, because there is a general laziness and incapacity to think outside the box. People become wheelbarrows when they deployed, if you leave them there, you will find them where you left them. There is nothing that happens through a miracle,” he said.

Malema said it was important not to over celebrate and said they were identifying challenges they had encountered in the run up to the elections.

He then added that the KZN results were a surprise for the party.

“KZN is the cherry on top, we are more than happy with KZN. We actually surprised ourselves in KZN. We thank the leadership in KZN which did not refuse to be led, because in other provinces you get people who refuse to be led,” said Malema.

Sunday Tribune