EFF must take advantage of weak ANC ahead of 2024 elections - Malema

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EFF leader Julius Malema addresses at the Freedom Charter Day Rally.
EFF leader Julius Malema addresses at the Freedom Charter Day Rally.
Screenshot via EFF Twitter
  • EFF leader Julius Malema has encouraged his supporters to take advantage of a weak Gauteng ANC and remove it from power in 2024. 
  • He was addressing thousands of Soweto residents at the party’s 67th anniversary celebration of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown on Sunday.
  • The EFF leader said his party should take advantage of a weak ANC, particularly in Gauteng.

EFF leader Julius Malema has told party members that if they don’t unseat the ANC in the 2024 elections, they will never get another opportunity.

Malema was addressing thousands of Soweto residents at the party’s 67th anniversary celebration of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown on Sunday. 

The historic document was adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown in 1955, and proposed as an alternative constitution by those opposed to apartheid.

The EFF leader said party members needed to be disciplined as they prepare for their provincial conferences this year. 

Malema said the EFF would not tolerate infighting and battles for positions. Instead, members were expected to grow the party support base in preparation for the 2024 national elections.

"We need BGMs [branch general meetings] to take place and, in the process, elect strong candidates to take over from the ANC instead of degenerating into infighting."

He was especially scathing about his party’s Johannesburg region. 

READ | If EFF could do it, so can we - ActionSA 'testing the waters' in Eastern Cape by-election

"Johannesburg is a hospital, because it’s as if they [EFF members in the region] are sleeping," Malema said.

"If we [the EFF] miss this opportunity [to unseat the ANC], we will never get it again. The ANC is at its weakest at this point, and it’s a small window, and if the EFF does not take full opportunity of this weak state of the ANC, we will never get it again."

Malema said that even if one of the ANC’s most popular leaders, the late president Nelson Mandela, were to come back to life, the party would still be unable to regain support, especially in Gauteng. 

He said his party’s ongoing campaign to get one million members by December 2022 should focus on Gauteng. He set a target of getting 250 000 new members in the province. 

During last year’s municipal elections, the ANC lost power in all the three metros and dropped to below 50% in terms of national support for the first time since the 1994 elections. 

The party secured 46% of the ballots cast in the November municipal elections, down from 54% in the previous poll. 

The opposition Democratic Alliance garnered 21.8% of the vote, down from 27% in 2016, while the EFF got 10.4%, compared with 8.2%. 

READ | ANC's national support set to go below 50% for the first time

Malema said South Africa had "something that resembles freedom, but has yet not attained real freedom"

"The doors of learning and culture have not been open as the Charter called for, women have not seen any freedom as they remain without security in the country, while a majority of you still do not have jobs despite having the necessary qualifications."

Also commemorating the anniversary of the Freedom Charter was ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe, who said that, while the governing party faced challenges, the text of the Charter sitll remained its guide.

"Everything else will always depend on the work we do. For example, look at education. Access to education has improved dramatically and to make that progress we must also look into other aspects on how do we take it forward, which is an achievement for the Freedom Charter," he said.

Mantashe was speaking on the sidelines of the ANC's Gauteng elective conference as it entered its final day on Sunday.

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