Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in KwaZulu-Natal plans to campaign in every nook and cranny of the province – including Nkandla and despite possible violence.
EFF provincial command members, as they are referred to, lined the platform of Diakonia Centre in Durban today, wearing their red berets, as they were introduced to the media.
Among the KwaZulu-Natal leadership were party convener Reggie Ngcobo, a former ANC member from Richmond, and co-coordinator Nathi Phewa.
Reading from a statement, Ngcobo described as “amazing” the reception received from the “masses in KZN”.
“It proves that our people have longed for such a voice of reason, the EFF,” he said.
Questions from the media were largely answered by EFF’s second in command, Mpho Ramakatsa, and Sipho Mbatha, who resigned as an IFP member of the provincial legislature last year.
Ramakatsa made it clear that the party was in it for a win in the 2014 elections and would not consider coalitions.
“Our position is building EFF and our capacity for a majority vote in the 2014 election. We want to see ourselves in government,” he said.
Ramakatsa said it was too early to provide membership figures as they had only just recently released membership cards and the party was still in the process of registering with the Independent Electoral Commission.
Asked about the level of political intolerance often associated with KwaZulu-Natal and whether party leaders in the province feared that the formation of the party would fuel violence, Ramakatsa said violence was nothing new in the province.
“It’s something that’s always been there. We just need to adjust to those conditions,” he said.
“Violence won’t stop us from campaigning anywhere in the province even in Nkandla,” he said to applause.
Ramakatsa also accused the SA Revenue Service (Sars) of being on a witch hunt against EFF leaders and being used by the ruling party to silence them.
He said both he and Kenny Kunene had received letters from Sars, which is seeking to schedule meetings with them.
“I received a call while I was in Marikana, from someone in Kimberley who told me they were willing to come to wherever I was. If someone is willing to come to KZN from Kimberley, that says something,” Ramakatsa said.
“If this was a pure administrative matter with Sars carrying out a legislative mandate we would take them seriously. But it is obvious they are being used to fight us. We are not going to fold our arms,” he added.
Ramakatsa said Malema had consistently refused to hold public office while in the ANC and that had not changed.
“The mistake they have made is allowing us to sell our dream to South Africa. The dream is out there and is no longer an EFF dream. It’s South Africa’s dream,” he said.
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