No more sleeping MPLs in Limpopo – EFF

2014-05-14 17:01

The “honeymoon is over” for the ANC in the Limpopo legislature, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) provincial leader Michael Mathebe has said.

“The ANC won’t relax like they used to with their MPLs sleeping in the legislature and others going there just to drink water. We are going to take the ruling party to task and expose their weaknesses to the public so they can see that the ANC is not a capable organisation,” Mathebe said.

His party emerged as the official opposition in its debut elections, replacing Cope, which was the main opposition after the 2009 elections.

Mathebe said the EFF was not going to go down the route of self-destruction like Cope has. He said Cope was destroyed by internal strife and it neglected its core duties as the official opposition in the Limpopo legislature.

“Internal squabbles were their biggest problem and instead of focusing on the real job, they concentrated on positions. In the EFF, we’re not here for positions and already we’ve past that stage and people are happy with leaders who are going to Parliament,” he said.

Cope performed dismally in recent elections, dropping from four seats in the Limpopo legislature to one. The DA scored one more seat, having won two in the 2009 elections, and now winning three seats, after the EFF. The ANC lost four seats – from 43 in 2009 to 39 last week.

Limpopo has been in the news in recent years amid widespread corruption, which plunged the province into serious financial difficulty. Half of the Limpopo government was placed under administration late in 2011 – when the province was so broke it could not afford public servants’ salaries.

Ironically, EFF leader Julius Malema is currently facing charges of corruption related to a Limpopo government tender.

The EFF in Limpopo said it was going all out to fight corruption. Mathebe, however, acknowledged that it was not easy to root out corruption within the departments.

“It’s not going to be easy exposing corruption because it is deeply rooted in government departments. We will at a political level put pressure on politicians to do the right thing but in the departments, officials involved in these bad deeds are getting better and better [at it] by the day,” he said.

“With six seats, however, we will be well represented in Scopa [the Standing Committee on Public Accounts] and the rules committee where we will ask the right questions and hold people accountable. We will do lots of research, collect information from our constituencies so we can pressure the ANC to change our people’s lives.”

Meanwhile, only 675 people from Malema’s neighbourhood in Seshego outside Polokwane voted EFF. Of the 1 890 people who voted at Mponegele Primary School where Malema voted, 675 voted EFF, and the ANC scooped the highest number of votes with 1 060.

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