Elections lists: EFF picks passion over formal qualifications

If the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)​ wins the Gauteng elections, expect to have Dali Mpofu as your premier and for the Pan Africanist Congress​ (PAC) to be partnering with the red berets.

That's as far as the big names go, however. As initially promised, the EFF have no dazzling names in their lists for the 2014 national elections.

The party released the highlights of their lists on Monday afternoon at a press conference in Braamfontein, including the top 10 names of its national lists, who will be sent to Parliament, and their premier candidates for each province.

Provincial premier candidates
Eastern Cape – Themba Wele
Gauteng – Dali Mpofu
KwaZulu-Natal – Vusi Khoza
Limpopo – Mike Mathebe
Mpumalanga – Collen Sedibe
North West – Alfred Motsi
Northern Cape – Aubrey Baartman
Western Cape – Nazier Paulsen

The top 10 names of the party include:

  1. Julius Malema
  2. Mpho Ramakatsa
  3. Leigh-Ann Mathys
  4. Floyd Shivambu
  5. Hlengiwe Hlophe
  6. Godrich Gardee
  7. Magdalene Moonsamy
  8. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi
  9. Teboho Mokwele
  10. Andile Mngxitama

Malema emphasised that the party's selection criteria was people with grassroots experience and passion for political change, rather than academic qualifications or other formal qualifications.

Malema also announced an official partnership between the EFF and PAC.

'List is 99.9% gender balanced'
Last week Malema said the EFF had submitted a National Assembly list, province to national list, and provincial legislature lists, adding that the party would contest nationally and all nine provinces.

"Our list is 99.9% gender balanced, it has generational mix and geographical mix," he said at the time.

"[However] racial mix is still a challenge."

Malema said he was confident his party would be in government after the May 7 elections.

"The game is on. Those who feel up to the task can bring it on," Malema said. "We will be in government."

Deposit fee to contest elections
The EFF said on March 12 that it had to use the money made from selling berets, T-shirts, posters, and donations from members to pay the deposit fee to contest the general elections.

"We didn't sleep, we had to run all over asking members [for money]," he told reporters at the time outside the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa's office in Centurion, south of Pretoria.

"Members responded positively." 

Malema said the biggest donation of R100 000 came from a member who lives in Pretoria.

However, the EFF will have to pay the money back after the elections to members who donated, he added.

"This money comes from these fighters you see here. We have done everything in our power to register."

The deposit for parties contesting the National Assembly is R200 000 and R45 000 per province that they contest.

Court application
Earlier this month, the EFF took President Jacob Zuma, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, and the IEC to court over the amount.

Last week, on March 11, the high court in Pretoria dismissed the EFF's application for an interdict relating to the payment of the deposit to the IEC.

Not more than 50 EFF supporters gathered outside the IEC office on Wednesday where Malema – along with party members Dali Mpofu and Floyd Shivambu – handed over the party's candidate lists.

Meanwhile, in February, the party's manifesto launch at Mehlareng Stadium in Thembisa signalled another telling shift in the alignment of left-leaning parties.

The launch was marked by heavy flirting between the EFF and other left-wing organisations, and "advocate of the people" Mpofu promising some major announcements in the near future.

The event, which police estimated drew about 50 000 people, many of them representing various parts of the country, featured representatives from the Black Consciousness Movement, the Azanian People's Organisation, or Azapo, the Socialist Party of Azania and the PAC.

There were also messages of support from the National Council of Trade Unions and the Democratic Left Front. – additional reporting by Sapa and Kwanele Sosibo

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Verashni Pillay
Verashni Pillay is the former editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, and inaugural editor-in chief of Huffington Post South Africa. She has worked at various periods as senior reporter covering politics and general news, specialises in mediamanagement and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms.

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