The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) humbled the ANC during the 2016 municipal elections, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Friday.
“We are happy that the EFF is the first organisation to humble the ANC, the most arrogant organisation which thought that it is entitled to leadership position in South Africa. The EFF came in and humbled it to a point where the leadership of the ANC is running around like headless chickens,” Malema said.
“They don’t know whether they are coming or going because of this three-year-old organisation [the EFF]. If this organisation can do that in three years’ time, you can imagine what it can do for the people of South Africa.”
Speaking at a media briefing at the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s National Results Operations Centre in Pretoria, Malema said he was happy with his party’s showing during the local government elections, as support for his party increased by about 100%.
The EFF is seen by many to be in a position to wield power as “king makers” in big metros such as Tshwane and Johannesburg where the ANC was tied or going head-to-head with opposition party the Democratic Alliance.
However, Malema dismissed rumours that his party would seek a coalition government with the DA, saying they were open to talks with any political party that would give in to the EFF’s demands.
“We want to put it on record that no one has approached us, and therefore we are unable to speak about [a] coalition, because we are not the party that received majority anywhere,” Malema said.
“We have not been busy engaging with anyone. We are not busy approaching anyone. We are not going to do that. We will wait for those who are interested to approach us and we will take discussions from there. I thought the people who must approach others are those who are leading in those metros, and not the small parties approaching the bigger parties, because that leads to uncontrollable desire for power, something we do not suffer from.”
Malema said though the leadership of the EFF had expressed that it was not interested in going into coalition with the ANC, the party could not “close its ears when spoken to because we exist in a democratic society”.
Malema tore through criticism of his party not winning any municipality despite a promising and intensive three-month campaign.
Malema said people should be looking at the growth of the EFF support base in a short space of time instead of focusing on the party’s lack of winning municipalities. He said that 2019 was going to be a “seriously challenging year for the ANC”.
“We are happy that the EFF has actually ensured that the ANC gets less than 60% nationally, because the ANC receiving the majority of votes thought they were doing something right,” Malema said.
“I am happy that the EFF has managed to increase its support base, and increased its presence in South African politics.”
Malema thanked the people who had voted for the EFF, the party’s “ground forces, as they were up against a well-oiled machinery”, saying he was humbled by the support they had received.
– African News Agency (ANA)