Supporters in celebratory mood for EFF 2nd anniversary

2015-07-25 12:51
EFF members at the party's second anniversary rally. (News24)

EFF members at the party's second anniversary rally. (News24)

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Rustenburg - Hundreds of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members were in a celebratory mood as they waited in a long queue to get into the Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg for the party's second anniversary rally.

Wearing red party T-shirts and the red berets they have become famous for, they braved the cold winter wind blowing over the North West mining city, singing and chanting.

"Rain or sunshine we are celebrating. Nothing can stop us," said Daniel Mhlapi all the way from Giyani in Limpopo.

"I am here in Rustenburg to support Juju and celebrate the second year of this rising giant," he said of party co-founder and president Julius Malema, who uses the title ''Commander in Chief''.

He said it was up to the youth to lead the radical transformation of South Africa's economy, and believed the EFF was the only party capable of doing this.

"Economic emancipation can be achieved in our lifetime," said Mhlapi as marshals, standing out in the sea of red in their white T-shirts, monitored the queue.

Giant white tent for VIPs

They also gave each entrant a free red EFF T-shirt.

Inside the stadium, from afar the usual green and black of the seats looked as though they had been painted red, with everyone wearing their red T-shirt.

A giant white tent had been pitched to house VIPs near the northern side of the stadium.

Rustenburg is a symbolic place for the party which was formed after the African National Congress (ANC) decided to act against public criticism of the ruling party by its Youth League and kicked key members out, including Malema, and spokesperson Floyd Shivambu.

With many ridiculing Malema, thinking his political career was over, he and others who joined their reconsolidated movement, loosely described at the time as the ''Friends of the Youth League'', visited the platinum belt during a prolonged strike in 2012, and loudly joined the miners' calls for a minimum salary of R12 500.

At one point he was escorted out of the city as police battled to keep the peace.

Marikana koppie

For the party's launch on Sunday October 13, 2013, they chose the koppie in Marikana where miners had been gathering during the strike, and one of the sites of the catastrophic confrontation with police on August 16, 2012 which led to 34 miners being killed.

The party describes itself as: '' ...A radical and militant economic emancipation movement that brings together revolutionary, fearless, radical, and militant activists, workers’ movements, nongovernmental organisations, community-based organisations and lobby groups under the umbrella of pursuing the struggle for economic emancipation''.

In what appeared to be a surprise to everybody except the EFF, the party was placed third in the 2014 general election, securing 6.35% of the vote with 1 169 259 votes.

Since their arrival at Parliament, in red boiler suits, instead of the usual formal attire of MPs, they have brought changes and challenges to the previously soporific sittings, as they constantly rise on points of order, resist orders to leave the House, and chant ''Pay back the Money'' to President Jacob Zuma over the spending on upgrades to Zuma's home in Nkandla.

Read more on:    eff  |  julius malema  |  mahikeng  |  politics

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