EFF supporters dance the night away

2013-11-18 08:48

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Some passed the time by drinking, while others sang and danced the night away.

About 3 000 Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters – mostly youth clad in red berets and T-shirts – had started arriving as early as 5pm yesterday to attend party leader Julius Malema’s trial today.

Some were seen getting off taxis and walking to Cosmo Leisure Lodge outside Polokwane. Others were bused in from different parts of Limpopo and other provinces.

The supporters spent last night in a vigil ahead of Malema’s appearance in Polokwane this morning.

As the numbers swelled, EFF Limpopo leader and Malema’s close friend Jossey Buthane urged those gathered to be on their best behaviour.

With music blaring from car boots, Buthane urged supporters to be orderly and not to give police reasons to arrest any of them. He also asked them to drink responsibly.

By midnight, the hall at the lodge was packed with a sea of red berets and T-shirts. More were still coming in and when it started raining, Buthane said it was a “sign that God is among us and that this gathering is blessed”.

Buthane also told the excitedly cheering EFF supporters that even if Malema was to be convicted and imprisoned in his racketeering and money laundering case, he “will lead us from prison”.


Malema’s right-hand man, Floyd Shivambu, later told the crowd that Malema was not going to jail. He said the state had no case and promised them that the firebrand would soon be back to focus on leading the EFF.

“The commander in chief will be our president-elect candidate next year. We will see placards saying ‘Malema for President’,” he said.

Shivambu later changed gears and moved the whole gathering into election-campaign mode. Sounding more like he was addressing an election rally, he emphasised to the party supporters the importance of securing “mass power” and then moving on to getting “political power” through elections.

He said the high unemployment rate, poor education system as well as housing and sanitation challenges were among some of the ANC government’s failures.

Shivambu promised his party supporters decent houses and sanitation as well as better education. He emphasised the importance of some of EFF’s key policies, including land ownership and nationalisation of mines.

A college student from Tzaneen, Ivy Malatji (23), said she had decided to stay on in Polokwane after finishing her exams so she could be there to support Malema in court.

“I genuinely believe he is not guilty and that some people who are angry with him for causing a stir in the ANC are out to get him using the courts. I will be here the whole night and outside court for the duration of his trial,” Malatji said.

Pule Seabe said he had travelled all the way from Rustenburg in the North West.

“Pity we can’t stay here for the full duration of the trial, but we decided to come and be part of a bigger EFF presence showing support for the commander in chief. He has been through a lot and I believe he’s going to get out of this one too.”

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