EFF membership over 400,000: Malema

By Drum Digital
10 January 2014

The Economic Freedom Fighters' membership has passed the 400,000 mark, party leader Julius Malema said

The Economic Freedom Fighters' membership has passed the 400,000 mark, party leader Julius Malema said.

"Our membership, we pay R10 and we have taken the financial statements to the CA [chartered accountant] to audit how many R10s have come into the account," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"He has not completed that... [but] we are very happy that so far he has gone past 400,000 [members]."

The EFF had set a target of 500,000 by the time elections were held later this year.

Malema said once the audit had been completed and verified the final figures would be made public. However there were some members who could not pay the R10.

"Our people don't have R10 and many people are laughing because they think it's a joke. It's a reality," he said.

"When they get R10 they look at membership, they look at bread. They have to eat."

Malema said the organisation was funded by membership fees, donations, and from selling merchandise. The highest donation the party had received from a member was R50,000.

"So there is no big capital. Neither do we have foreign agents funding us, not Zanu-PF or Zimbabwe," he said.

Malema said the EFF intended to win the 2014 elections, but the playing field was not level because election laws, rules and regulations favoured existing political parties and the ruling party.

The EFF would approach the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the electoral court to raise certain issues. The first was the R45,000 compulsory registration fee per political party per province, and the R200,000 to be paid per political party nationally.

"Such excludes parties that do not have money, yet have massive following of the people to democratically participate in elections," Malema said.

The second issue was the IEC funding model, according to which only political parties with seats in Parliament got money.

"This is unfair. In essence, the IEC is funding political parties to retain the same number of seats they currently occupy," he said.

The third issue was the Icasa regulation which stated that media coverage, mainly radio and television, would be allocated to parties according to the number of seats they had in Parliament. Malema said this prejudiced new political parties.

The EFF would launch its election manifesto in Tembisa on February 22. Malema said it was going to be an exciting election because of his party.

"It was going to be boring if we were not in the space. We've brought capacity as we make things exciting," he said.

Malema said the 2014 election would be the "red beret election". The African National Congress reportedly distributed red berets to its members in Mpumalanga this week.

According to the Sowetan newspaper, the ANC had paid for 50,000 red berets ahead of the party's manifesto launch in the province this weekend.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told the paper the aim was to "crush EFF".

"We want to flush them out. No one has monopoly over a red beret."

Malema on Thursday said there was no one left with creative ideas in the ANC and that was why it had to steal the red berets.

"They are always looking at what [we are] doing now, because there is no one left with ideas. There is no one left... to create election excitement, but also a 2014 election legacy," he said.

Malema said the legacy of the 2014 elections was going to be the red beret.

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