Elections 2021: PICS | Kwa Malema hardware store a hit in Gqeberha - EFF member pays homage to party

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Mzwandile Mtwazi standing in front of his hardware store named after Julius Malema.
Mzwandile Mtwazi standing in front of his hardware store named after Julius Malema.
Malibongwe Dayimani
  • EFF member in Gqeberha Mzwandile Mtwazi's Julius Malema-inspired home is attracting curious onlookers. 
  • The words Thatha Umhlaba Ngenkani (Occupy land by force) are written in big bold letters on the side of the bright red and green road-side house. 
  • His home doubles as a hardware store.

Kwa Malema (At Malema's) is what the people of Gqeberha call Eastern Cape man Mzwandile Mtwazi's home. 

The EFF member has painted his double-storey shack in the colours of the party with impressive murals of its leader Julius Malema adorning it.

The logo of the party also features three times on the wall of the house.

The famous bright red and green house along the busy R335 road in Motherwell’s NU 1 does not only attract onlookers, but is also used as a landmark by people giving directions.

READMalema's rifle trial moved to next year as prosecutor recovers from Covid-19

It has also become a popular taxi stop for local commuters. 

Taxi drivers know exactly where to stop when a passenger from the backseat shouts: "Driver, please drop me off at Malema's."

The shack, which Mtwazi uses to keep and sell secondhand hardware material, is adjoined by his residential home.  

malema store
Kwa Malema hardware store a hit in Motherwell's NU 1, ward 51.

Inside the hardware store there are neatly stacked corrugated iron sheets, timber, nails and other building materials. 

If anyone thinks of breaking and entering at night, they will be welcomed by Mtwazi's pitbull named Zuma.

Zuma is a Xhosa word meaning ambush.   

Mtwazi describes himself as a die-hard EFF supporter and staunch follower of its outspoken leader Julius Malema. 

"This house has attracted a lot of attention from curious people and ever since I painted my business in my party colours, I have seen a rise in sales."

ALSO READ Shopper pulls gun on EFF members during standoff in PE shopping centre

His biggest dream, he said, was to meet the firebrand leader. 

Among his customers were people who occupied vacant land.

"I supply people who are building shacks or starting up informal settlements," Mtwazi said. 

EFF member in Gqeberh'a ward 51 Mzwandile Mtwazi's home is famous in Gqeberha.

The words Thatha Umhlaba Ngenkani (Occupy land by force) is written in big bold letters on the side of the bright red and green road-side house. 

"I asked a friend of mine to paint this house in my party colours because I love EFF so much for what it stands for. It is a pro-poor party. I started the business maybe four years ago. I believe in the idea of occupying the land by force," said Mtwazi. 

The member of the EFF in Gqeberha's ward 51, revealed to News24 that he used to be an ANC member. 

Mzwandile Mtwazi

Asked why he left ANC, he said: "I left it because I did not like the way it was doing things. It was infiltrated by self-serving people who were thinking about themselves and their families and I noticed that there was a lot of elitism because if you don't have a famous surname there, you are out in the cold on your own."

ANC elections coordinator in the Eastern Cape Mziwonke Ndabeni said he would verify if Mtwazi had been an ANC member.

ALSO EFF talks tough after member threatens to burn down hospital if Clicks branch didn't close

However, Ndabeni said:

"It is unfortunate that a member of our movement would decide to leave the party due to those allegations when the ANC have taken a decision to act against whoever is involved in misconduct. We would have expected that, before he left the party, he would have raised the matter internally so that it could be attended to by the ANC.

"While we respect people's rights to choose, this is something that is not really appreciated," said Ndabeni.  

During the EFF's televised two-hour manifesto launch on 19 September, Malema promised to change the lives of the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay area if residents voted it into power.

Among the EFF's election promises, Malema promised to eradicate the bucket system in Walmer Township, under Ward 4.  

He said people wanted Joe Slovo Clinic to be open 24/7 and that his party would deliver that. 

He also promised to erect a drainage system in Ward 18 in Daku and clean Njoli by ensuring refuse was collected regularly and that the party would deal with the stench permeating the area. 

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