Small turnout to ‘save the soul of the EFF’

2015-02-22 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

It was billed to be a rally to “save the soul of the EFF”, but the fewer than 500 fighters who turned out for the event – which started more than three hours late – didn’t come close to filling the soccer field in Mangaung’s Rocklands area in Bloemfontein.

The rally was billed to start at 10am, but people only started trickling into the Mangaung Outdoor Sport Stadium around noon.

Party organisers cited problems with buses and told City Press the bus operators did not want to drive yesterday morning, before receiving payment deposits.

The original arrangement was that they would be paid after the work was done.

Organisers claimed buses came from all provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal, but most of the buses appeared to be from around Mangaung and the Free State, where a large faction of the EFF is unhappy with Malema’s leadership.

Three rebel MPs – Mpho Ramakatsa, Andile Mngxitama and Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala – convened yesterday’s rally.

They said the gathering was “not about leadership change” or dividing the EFF but “correcting” its wrongs.

But Ramakatsa’s speech made it clear that his biggest grievance was about one man – Malema – and his circle of friends in the EFF’s leadership.

Ramakatsa said the friendship between Malema and his deputy and right-hand man Floyd Shivambu was at the heart of the problem. The friendship was a “danger” to the EFF, he said.

Ramakatsa, who used to be the EFF’s national coordinator, said the trouble started at an after-party in a Sandton bar following the EFF’s first birthday rally in Thokoza, Soweto, last year.

He claimed Malema said: “If you are not going to listen to me and Floyd, if you are not going to defend us, we are going to leave you with this thing [the EFF].”

Ramakatsa was not fazed by the small turnout.

“It is better to go to war with a few soldiers you can trust, that you can rely on, that are motivated to go tothe war. For us, it is not about filling the stadium, but about going to war to save the EFF,” he said.

Ramakatsa noted that some EFF members would also challenge the outcome of the party’s people’s assembly, where the current leadership was elected.

Meanwhile, some officials guarding the gate asked journalists to buy them food from a nearby spaza shop.

There was no obvious catering at the rally – even though there was evidently enough money to erect a decent stage, hire a good sound system and pay for the buses.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.