EFF makes KZN moves

2013-07-18 00:00

“INDIANS must be prepared to share the economy in KwaZulu-Natal with Africans.”

This was the message from Reggie Ngcobo, KZN convener of the fledgling Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Ngcobo was announcing the launch of the EFF in the uMgungundlovu region, with an official event expected to take place this evening in the city centre.

“As the EFF in this province we are working with Mazibuye Africa Forum, which is questioning the dominance of Indians in the KZN economy.”

The EFF was launched earlier this month by expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

But South African Minority Rights Equality Movement (Samrem) chairperson Ashin Singh said last night that he had contacted Malema, who said he did not even know that the EFF was being launched in KZN.

“I spoke to Malema at about 6 pm yesterday. He was at the airport and he said he did not even know about it.

“He [Malema] has previously said he wants Indians to join his party and he reiterated that today.

“I don’t believe that there is any political party that can form an alliance with [the Mazibuye Africa Forum],” said Singh.

In 2011, Malema travelled to Pietermaritzburg to meet Samrem after he made derogatory comments about Indian people.

Samrem members opened crimen injuria charges against Malema but the face-to-face meeting and apology from the firebrand youth leader led to the charges being withdrawn.

Malema could not be reached for comment last night.

When approached for clarity, Ngcobo said the EFF’s national leadership had given a mandate to engage all other organisations in the province. Mazibuye was one of those.

“We are not in any formal relationship or marriage,” he said.

The issues between Samrem and Mazibuye would not impact on whether the EFF engaged the forum further. “Samrem’s enemy does not mean they are our [EFF] enemies and vice versa.”

Ngcobo earlier yesterday told The Witness: “We don’t have a problem with Indians but we are simply saying that they must be prepared to share the economy with Africans in KZN”.

At this stage the EFF was still a consultative body and a party constitution had not yet been adopted.

Ngcobo said he was unable to divulge the venue for tonight’s launch in Pietermaritzburg.

Zweli Sangweni, a spokesperson of the Mazibuye Forum, said his organisation would work with any “African willing to implement radical economic transformation”.

He said the Mazibuye Forum’s recent public utterances did not make them a political liability. “We are raising legitimate issues,” he said.

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