EFF leader Julius Malema does a lap at Peter Mokaba Stadium during the party's election rally. (Tshidi Madia, News24)
Polokwane – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema told thousands of supporters at a rally at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday that the party has run a positive campaign that didn't rely on celebrities and "dodgy" tenderpreneurs.
The Tshela Thupa Rally rally was the final stop of a whirlwind tour of different communities across the country ahead of the municipal polls on Wednesday.
Malema thanked the leaders in the party and its ground forces on how they had handled themselves throughout the campaign period. He said it had been successful, particularly because the party was only 3-years-old.
“Not a single drop of blood [was spilt] when the EFF selected its councillor candidates; let us not kill our people because we have uncontrollable ambition for power.
"EFF, no one was killed because you were fighting for positions. I want to salute you because you have never disturbed the campaign of a single political party,” he said.
Malema was greeted by cheering crowds inside the stadium comprising the youth and the elderly, many of whom agreed with the leader when he spoke of what the EFF hoped to deliver should it emerge victorious in some of the country’s municipalities.
During his address the EFF commander-in-chief focused on the promises he’d made previously, which included free electricity and water for the poor and better housing conditions.
Malema, who once said black people wanted their land back and not social grants, reiterated his call for increased social grants, with the elderly being promised R3 000 and child grants going up to R600.
Ready to win
Malema has also gone back and forth on whether or not the intention was to win in these local elections.
During a business gala dinner held ahead of the rally he told guests that the aim was to grow the political party, but speaking to supporters at Peter Mokaba Stadium he said the EFF was ready to win and asked for five years to show what it could do.
“We are not asking for too much, South Africa, we are not asking for a lot; just give us five years. Look at what we have done in just three years. We are the only ones who can take on the ANC toe-to-toe, a 3-year-old, taking on a 104-year-old,” he said.
Malema told supporters they needed to question why they were suffering if they had selected the right political party. He questioned the amount of money said to have been used by the ANC for its election campaign. He said the billion rand spent on elections could have gone a long way if given to impoverished students.
“One billion in three months campaigning; imagine if they gave it to students at TUT, Wits, Unisa, UniVen (the University of Venda) or even the University of Limpopo?
"Imagine if they had given that money to all the needy students. Ask yourself, where did that billion rand go?” he asked.
Malema also claimed the EFF had not spent more than R10m on its election campaign.
“They ask where did you get the money, the money comes from the IEC, from Parliament and a loan which we have taken from Standard Bank. We don’t have money from government, tenderprenuers or all those dodgy characters."
Malema also invited the media to look at his party’s books and at its finances.
ANC ministers are blessers
The EFF leader has asked South Africans not to allow the current crop of leaders to continue stealing from the country. He said ministers were all blessers, using the country’s money.
“I have worked with them for a long time, I know they buy alcohol, some even pee on themselves; one minister I know very well, he behaves like a gugu in politics. If he continues to be tjatjarag, we will release his photos before August 3,” he said.
He said citizens must stop eating expired food parcels, and told them the EFF wanted them to buy food for themselves.
“Leave food parcels, which you only receive around election time, you will only get them again after five years."
Malema said some were sacrificing their children’s futures in exchange for free T-shirts.
“Stop loving T-shirts more than your own future, your children’s future and the country’s future. They have been giving you T-shirts from 1994 until now.
"You have T-shirts including those of former President Nelson Mandela and now you are sitting at home with a Jacob Zuma T-shirt – you cannot eat, live or get work from a T-shirt. You are prepared to vote for corruption in exchange of a T-shirt,” he said.
Malema also urged EFF party agents to guard both the ANC and the IEC. “Tomorrow, special votes, all of you party agents follow the IEC when they do the special votes, you must not sleep," he said.
A birthday cake in the colours of the EFF was also on the stag to celebrate the political party’s anniversary. Its CIC thanked all who helped form it three years ago in Soweto.
Malema also noted former members including Mpho Ramakatsa, Andile Mngxitama and Mike Mathebe, and said none of the three were seen as the EFF’s enemies.
“Our journey ended when you left, we continue on the journey towards economic freedom. The EFF is fighting for land, it wants to give to the people free of charge,” he said.
The EFF gave away wheelchairs and blankets to some who attended the event.
Malema rounded off his address by wishing all the other political parties well.
“To the ANC, we wish you well, the DA we wish you well… wishing all the parties contesting for power well. Let us play a fair game.
"Let us not play the man, let’s play the ball.”
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