Malema’s coalition of the wounded

2013-07-14 14:00

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Actor Fana Mokoena is probably the oddest combatant among the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and adds a celebrity touch.

He has no known past political involvement but is popular as Dr Mandla Sithole from the SABC1 soapie Generations.

The 42-year-old has also had roles in international films such as Safe House, Machine Gun Preacher and Hotel Rwanda.

The other glam member of the EFF’s top leadership is, of course, Kunene, a flamboyant businessman better known as the “Sushi King”.

Although he has been more prominent for his parties (with prominent ANC leaders) than his politics, Kunene recently declared he had mended his ways and joined the EFF after writing a scathing open letter to President Jacob Zuma.

His popularity is, however, eclipsed by EFF leader Julius Malema, who decided to go it alone and form a party after he was expelled from the ANC and its youth league last year.

He brought with him his former spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, who was sacked from the league last year and was formally expelled recently after working against it.

He is now one of the 10 members of the EFF’s national central command team.

The EFF’s national coordinator is former Free State ANC activist Mpho Ramakatsa, who shot to fame after fuelling the “regime change” faction opposing the re-election of both President Jacob Zuma and Free State Premier Ace Magashule.

The faction almost succeeded in stalling the ANC’s Mangaung conference after the Constitutional Court found Magashule was elected illegally in 2012.

Ramakatsa spent 15 years imprisoned on Robben Island and joined the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto weSizwe later and is one of the most senior former ANC leaders on Malema’s team.

KwaZulu-Natal convenor Reggie Ngcobo left the ANC after he decided to stand as an independent councillor in Richmond in 2011, but lost to an ANC-approved candidate. He now works as a community-development worker.

North West coordinator Alfred Motsi was a close friend and fellow whistle-blower of the slain Moss Phakoe.

The EFF’s convenor in that province, Papiki Babuile, is the former league chairperson in North West.

He was arrested for the murder last year of an ANC regional chairperson in the province.

EFF also recruited from the Congress of the People (Cope). Gauteng convenor Pule Matshithse is a Randfontein resident who used to be local Cope leader.

The 40-year-old joined the ANC in the early 1990s. He stood for councillor in 2011, but lost.

Mpumalanga coordinator Dumisani Ncongwana is a former National Union of Mineworkers shop steward and has no youth league background.

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