At a rally with the theme of the Freedom Charter in KwaZulu-Natal today, the EFF leader reiterated that his party would never work with the ANC, because if the governing party received less than 50% of the vote, it meant the people were rejecting them.
“So we can’t bring them back.”
He also asked for unity among opposition parties to bring down the ANC. He warned the DA in particular to stop attacking the EFF. “The point is to work towards reducing the ANC’s numbers, to humble them.”
He said it was humbling to find such a large turnout in “this corner of the country” after he travelled from Limpopo, and he promised he would not take such support for granted. He said he was most gratified that people had come despite no promises of “food parcels”, as happened at other parties’ rallies.
He returned to familiar themes during his address, saying that his party’s struggle was about “restoring the dignity of black people”.
The Freedom Charter is a liberation document written by the ANC and its allies 61 years ago, but the EFF has long said that it now considers itself the “more legitimate” custodian of the document. It has been accusing the ruling party of abandoning the principles of the Freedom Charter since the EFF’s inception, which followed Malema’s expulsion from the ANC.
Malema said the ANC was only continuing with the “Zuma Charter, which is all about stealing”.
He once again denounced corrupt public officials, particularly councillors. “They are stealing, they even take bribes to give you a job. If you don’t sing Zikalala, they exclude you.”
He also had a jab for the ANC around their recent violent rejection of Thoko Didiza as the mayoral candidate. He said the tribalism around the violence was unfounded: “Reject Thoko Didiza because she is ANC, not because she is Zulu or from KwaZulu-Natal.”
He said she could be a mayor anywhere in the country if she wanted to and said people needed to vote for ideas, not for people like Zuma just “because he is Zulu”.
“We loved [Albert] Luthuli, [Anton] Lembede and [Steve] Biko not because of the language they spoke. But because they were prepared to die for the struggle . We must reject tribalism.”
He claimed the reason the police had not killed people burning property in Tshwane, as they had done in Marikana, was because “the ANC controls the police”.
He claimed President Jacob Zuma had thrown the Freedom Charter in the “dustbin”, from which the EFF had gone to retrieve it.
He said, however, that the fight against Zuma was merely strategic and the bigger fight remained against “white monopoly capital”.
During his speech, he renewed calls calling for nationalisation, particularly of mining. He said land needed to given back to black people, who would then decide how much white people could have.
He called the sentence in the Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all who live in it a “sellout clause”, claiming to be echoing the sentiments of Robert Sobukwe.
Despite telling the DA not to attack the EFF, he criticised the party’s Joburg mayoral candidate, Herman Mashaba, for describing himself as a successful black businessman: “Less than 5% of blacks own the SA economy. Mashaba is not in the top 1 000 of these blacks, so what success is he talking about? ”
He said that the RDP houses built by the democratic government were worse than those built for black people by the apartheid government. He criticised DA leader Mmusi Maimane for saying Bantu education had been better than education now, though.
But the ANC had “sold out” because there was still “no free education”.
He again called for freedom of movement to canvass during elections. He was prevented from campaigning in Tembisa by alleged ANC members bearing dangerous weapons last week.
“The Freedom Charter speaks to freedom of movement. It means you should not disrupt people’s meetings just because you disagree with them .”
Some of his controversial points included a call for government to give away sanitary towels for free because it gave away condoms for free. He promised that the EFF would do this in order to keep girls in school on all days of the month.
He also called for 24-hour clinics.