EFF elects top six leaders

The Economic Freedom Fighters elected its top six officials, with Julius Malema as president and his long time ally Floyd Shivambu as deputy president.  

Former SABC chief executive, Dali Mpofu, was elected new chairperson while EFF MP Godrich Gardee was elected secretary general. Former ANC Youth League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy is the party’s new treasurer general and Hlengiwe Hlophe Maxon was elected deputy secretary general. All officials were elected to their new positions uncontested.

Former EFF national co-ordinator, Mpho Ramakatsa, and MP Andile Mngxitama, who were associated with the black consciousness group failed to make it to the top six positions. 

There was loud applause, some whistling, and jarring sound from the floor when Malema and other candidates were nominated prompting the presiding officer from Grace Mercy Ministers [a company that oversaw the election process] to tell the fighters to behave.

‘Staff riders’
Delivering his political report to more than 3 000 delegates who attended the EFF’s inaugural national assembly in Mangaung, Malema lambasted elements within his party who were working hard to divide the party. 

“We should be careful of staff riders who join the organisation for personal gains. The EFF is a vehicle for real socialist transformation, and whoever is a member of the EFF should be a member par excellence, and not try to pursue individual or other organisational interests within the EFF. 

“Staff riders are fighters whose sole intention is to uplift and uphold only one or two cardinal pillars of the EFF at the expense of the rest. Staff riders are fighters with uncontrollable ambitions for power who arrive in the organisation today and tomorrow they want to lead the organisation, ignoring the fact that leaders should first be led for them to be perfect leaders. 

“Staff riders are fighters who cause violence and disruption because they have convinced themselves that a People’s Assembly will not have their desired outcomes,” said Malema.

Violent incidents
In the past few weeks, a number of violent incidents by EFF members were recorded, as members jostled for positions. In November, it was reported that an EFF conference in Kimberley at the Savoy Hotel became chaotic when some members at the conference were armed with machetes, pangas and bricks. The hotel was vandalised and members threw bricks at each other contesting for positions. 

Another meeting that took place in Meyerton in the Midvaal earlier this month resulted in chaos when some members were not allowed to participate in the Gauteng provincial conference. The members accused Malema of ordering guards to shoot them with rubber bullets at a conference intended to elect provincial leaders.

Unruly members won’t be expelled
Malema told journalists the EFF would not expel unruly members from the party. Instead, it would guide them to become better leaders in the future. “I know people in the ANC who used to stab people in the townships. They didn’t go to exile for the movement, they were running away from jail here. 

“Once they got there, they were taught about the struggle. Those are the best leaders today. Robben Island was a political university. Some people who went there were thieves and robbers, but were educated at Robben Island, so even when we find and come across these individuals who aren’t there [in the EFF] for the cause, we must not punish them. We need to teach them about the revolution,” said Malema. 

Malema said he was not worried about threats to take the EFF to court by a group called defenders of the EFF Constitution, to declared the national assembly invalid.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Matuma Letsoala
Guest Author

Related stories

The case against Floyd Shivambu

The flow of money from VBS Bank would seem to suggest that the EFF’s second-in-command was an ultimate beneficiary of proceeds of a crime

ANC needs young leaders and uDuduzane could be one

Youth Day, June 16, reminds us of the role of youth in the struggle against oppression throughout the history of the ANC

Gamechangers: The morphing landscape of South Africa’s media

Two books on two media outlets, Daily Maverick and Independent newspapers, tell stories of success and failure

Show of political unity as South Africa battles Covid-19 outbreak

The president and political parties put their differences aside as South Africa tackles what has been described as one of its biggest post-apartheid challenges yet

Reining in the public protector

As well as its scathing findings on Mkhwebane’s investigation into Ramaphosa, the high court also made important in-principle pronouncements

Mkhwebane’s CR17 report is ‘confused, inexplicable, irrational’

The Public Protector was derided by the Pretoria High Court for refusing to consider facts logically and for a material error of law

Jailed journalist a symbol of a disillusioned Zimbabwe

Hopewell Chin’ono backed President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he succeeded Robert Mugabe. Now he’s in jail

Sisulu axes another water board

Umgeni Water’s board in KwaZulu-Natal was appointed irregularly by her predecessor, the water and sanitation minister claims

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday