“Cheers!” said Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Juluis Malema as he instructed the party’s 4000 delegates attending its National People’s Assembly to collect 10-million votes for the party in the next general election.
This would be done, Malema explained, if all 1 882 480 people who voted for the red berets in the 2019 elections convinced at least five more people to cast their ballot for the EFF in the 2023 elections. EFF voters should be able to adequately “articulate the EFF vision with clarity and convince others to vote for the EFF”, he said.
“We should turn the quantity of voters we have into quality and this in turn will become greater quality. All our members must be able to politically and ideologically reproduce themselves,” he said.
Malema presented the party’s political report at the EFF’s second elective and policy conference held in Johannesburg on Saturday. The conference is held under the banner, “Consolidating the Ground Towards Socialist Power.”
The party’s discussion documents notes that as of July this year, the EFF had branches in at least 80% of the country’s official demarcated wards. These wards each have at least 100 members, which is the minimum number of members required to form a branch according to the party’s constitution.
During his address to the delegates, Malema however bemoaned the fact that the party does not have councillors in 24 municipalities across the 278 local councils in the country. He also lambasted the existing branches of the EFF for failing to meet regularly and also bemoaned a lack of programmes of action as one of the party’s weaknesses.
The lack of internal capacity was also identified by Malema as another of the party’s weaknesses. This, he said, has caused the party to perform dismally in municipal elections and by-elections across the country.
The EFF central command team (CCT), which is the highest decision-making body in the party outside of the conference, also consists of members who are not concerned with their portfolios, Malema said.
“A substantial number of EFF leaders, mostly deployed in positions of responsibilities are not loyal to the EFF but loyal to their positions of deployment,” Malema said to thunderous applause from the delegates.
He added: “You are going to see it when this conference finishes, some of them will not be elected and they are going to start insulting the organisation.”
During a media briefing following his presentation, Malema said the organisation currently has no powers to remove underperforming members of the CCT. The party’s constitution provides for the removal of a CCT member if they have been absent from meetings three times without an apology