Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Tuesday paid tribute to thousands of his supporters who led the campaign trail, saying they had endured an onslaught of violence.
“Above the capitalist greed demonstrated by the conscious expenditure of the DA [Democratic Alliance] and the ANC [African National Congress], the EFF campaign was met with violence. We have lost two members to electoral violent confrontation in Tembisa when a no-go area was declared in Sethokga hostel,” Malema told reporters after touring the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) national results operations centre in Tshwane.
“Our community meetings were violently disrupted in front of the whole world and in the presence of the media, particularly in Mpumalanga and in KwaZulu-Natal. In Polokwane our female member was shot while campaigning at a taxi rank.”
Malema also complained that there was a sustained effort to remove EFF posters, particularly in Gauteng, “which was also joined by the Johannesburg Metro Police who unashamedly removed EFF campaign material”.
Malema said in places such as Newcastle and Vryburg, the EFF campaign foot soldiers were targeted by “angry, small-minded, racist white people”.
Malema slammed the South African media, which he said was “too lazy” and only accessed urban areas.
“In South Africa we have a big problem, not only of government but also of a lazy South African media that only go to accessible places. You don’t go to rural areas. You don’t go to townships and you don’t go to towns outside Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban. That is only where you cover,” said Malema to a large scrum of local and international media.
“You are contributing in a way, wittingly or unwittingly, to the situation where the rural masses are neglected by politicians because there is no coverage. Politicians going there is coverage. Malema was campaigning in rural areas. Media was following [DA Leader] Mmusi Maimane – how can unveiling a poster be news? Come on, South African media.”
Malema said his party had ran a thorough national campaign, not focusing only on the hotly contested metro of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.
– African News Agency (ANA)