Malema: IEC discriminates against smaller parties

Economic Freedom Fighters commander-in-chief Julius Malema. (Delwyn Verasamy)

Economic Freedom Fighters commander-in-chief Julius Malema. (Delwyn Verasamy)

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) commander-in-chief Julius Malema said at an EFF press conference held on Thursday at Easy hotel in Johannesburg that electoral laws, rules and regulations discriminate against new or small political parties as they favour existing political parties and the majority party in government.

He said the EFF will therefore approach the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and the electoral court to complain about, among other things, the compulsory registration fee of R45 000 per political party in each province.

"The IEC funding model that funds political parties in Parliament only gives them as per the number of seats they occupy in Parliament. This is unfair. In essence, the IEC is funding political parties to retain the same number of seats as they occupy.

"The Icasa regulations that states media coverage, mainly radio and television, will be spread across parties as per their current seats in Parliament is not fair and prejudices new political parties that deserve a level playing field to canvass all South Africans through all platforms," Malema said at the press conference attended by other members of the central command team.

New members
Malema also introduced newly-joined members of the party including former Agang leader Wiekus Kotze who will now be part of the the party’s Gauteng leadership, former ANC Youth League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy who will join the central command team and Fighter Manzini who will join the Mpumalanga provincial leadership.

Malema also revealed that the EFF will be visiting KwaZulu-Natal on January 11 and 13 where it will also officially open a house built next to President Jacob Zuma’s residence in Nkandla.

"We are going to show that EFF cares but also show that there are no-go areas in South Africa," Malema said.

He also revealed that they were doing an audit of finances received through selling of their red berets plus monies paid by their members to join the party. Based on the R10 joining fee, he said they had been alerted that membership had exceeded 400 000 and the counting was not yet complete.

Growing members
He mocked that the ANC in 1994 had less than 300 000 members by the time it went to its first democratic elections in 1994 and that in less than a year they had over 400 000 paying members.

He also claimed that the ANC was suffering from a death of people with ideas, hence it was now copying what the EFF was doing.

"The 2014 elections will be elections of the red beret and all political parties will be imitating what the EFF does. We are not perturbed by dying and crisis-ridden organisations that lack creativity and choose to imitate what the EFF represents … the red beret remains our symbol, a symbol of commitment to the struggle for economic freedom," Malema said.

 
Manqoba Nxumalo

Manqoba Nxumalo

Manqoba Nxumalo is the Mail & Guardian's Eugene Saldanha Fellow for social justice reporting in 2013. Nxumalo started his journalism career at the Swazi Observer, a government-controlled Mbabane-based newspaper, in 2004. The following year he moved to the kingdom's only independent newspaper, Times of Swaziland, where he reported on diverse issues for six years. During this time Manqoba completed a diploma in law at the University of Swaziland while doing court reporting for the newspaper. This experience drove his passion to use journalism as a tool to change the injustices of the world and give a voice to those without one. His work put him at odds with authorities in Swaziland, and in 2011 Manqoba moved to South Africa to continue telling his stories. He has written for a range of local and international publications. Read more from Manqoba Nxumalo

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