Julius Malema’s new party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, has introduced itself at a press conference in KwaZulu-Natal, President Jacob Zuma’s home province.
Mpho Ramakatsa, national coordinator for the party whose members address each other as “fighter” and not “comrade”, told reporters in Durban today that the party already had members across the province.
This was in spite of only releasing membership applications the week before last.
He could not say how many “fighters” had joined, but several members from the organisation’s regional, provincial and national “command teams” were present at the press conference.
Ramakatsa, himself a former Umkhonto weSizwe cadre and ANC member said at the press conference the party did not solely consist of disgruntled ANC members.
He described its members as being opposed to a “military state” that used state institutions to silence its opponents.
Malema, the ANC Youth League’s former president, has previously claimed he was expelled from the ruling party for voicing opinions critical of Zuma and his government.
Ramakatsa said the party would campaign everywhere in the province, including Nkandla, where Zuma had his homestead.
Ramakatsa accused the country’s political leaders of using the SA Revenue Service (Sars) to achieve its aims.
“Sars is being used by those in power to deal with its opponents,” he said.
He questioned why Sars became so efficient in dealing with Malema only after he was expelled from the ANC. He said a number of other people in the EFF, including himself, had recently received letters from Sars enquiring into their business affairs.
“Sars is being used to victimise EFF,” he claimed.
Reggie Ncgobo, the EFF’s KwaZulu-Natal coordinator read a statement highlighting the party’s main principles.
» The expropriation of land without compensation;
» The nationalisation of banks, mines and other strategic sectors of the economy without compensation;
» Improving the state’s ability to create infrastructure to eliminate the need for tenders;
» Free education, housing, healthcare and sanitation; industrialisation, job creation and the elimination of the wage gap between rich and poor;
» Development of the African economy;
» An open, corruption-free government without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
Sipho Mbata, another member of the EFF’s “national command team”, said that since the country’s first inclusive elections in 1994, both the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress had been silent on the question of land.
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