Afrikaner waits for Julius Malema’s blessing

2014-01-21 15:01

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Leon Meerholz is sitting in his battered and dirty Kia four-wheel drive vehicle in Barberton, waiting for Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.

“I’ve been here since 8.50am waiting for Julius. I want the red beret from him,” says the 58-year-old self-employed electrician.

He is wearing an old blue overall top.

Meerholz, who unashamedly admits that he is poor, says he joined the EFF yesterday.

“The DA and the ANC do nothing for me. Property rates, taxes and petrol go up all the time and no one other Julius says a word,” he says.

Meerholz says he likes Malema’s militant approach to things – he reminds him of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging.

When asked if he fears backlash from his Afrikaner community, Meerholz says he does not “give a f**k”.

“Shame. I am what I am, finish and klaar. The only person who cares about me is God, so I don’t care about what white people say,” he says.

Meerholz says his wife, a teacher in Barberton, does not mind that he joined the EFF.

“People must listen carefully to what Julius says. He wants all of us to have a share in the wealth of the country, that’s all,” he adds.

Next to him is the EFF’s provincial organiser, Collen Sedibe.

EFF members have been waiting for their commander-in-chief in the sweltering heat in Barberton since 9am.

They have put up a tent and a small stage, and music is blaring from the sound system.

A police contingent is also present.

Across the road, ANC members have pitched a tent that displays the message: “Vote ANC.”

In yellow T-shirts and red and black berets, they are singing struggle songs about President Jacob Zuma.

Malema arrived at about 1.30pm to address the crowd.

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