Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema has hinted that, if given an opportunity, his party will vote the Democratic Alliance (DA) to power in the 2019 national government elections, just as they did in the 2016 local government elections.
This after he called on the youth not to attend the ANC’s 105th birthday celebrations, saying that if they did so, they’d be traitors.
“If you are young and find yourself at Orlando stadium on sunday then you are a traitor, the unemployed and the poor in Soweto must stay home,” Malema said on Twitter on Thursday, adding that the birthday celebration was a “festival of the rich, the only way to keep them out of power is to remove anything that smells @MYANC in Joburg and Tshwane”.
Then the EFF leader received a response that apparently did not sit well with him. He was told by one Twitter user that “a traitor is a party that claims to be representing Africans yet making deals with DA (white imperialists)”.
“You can go to hell,” was Malema’s response, adding that: “we will do it again if given an opportunity, actually will do it again in 2019”.
This was in reference to EFF’s decision to vote for the DA to take over in the Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay metros from the ANC after last year’s local government elections. This was seen by some EFF supporters and party critics as “selling out”, as some of them believe the DA is a party that protects “white monopoly capital”, something the EFF claims to be fighting against.
Now all three metros are in a coalition government led by the DA but not involving EFF party members, who said they would play an oppositional role to the DA (despite installing the party into power). The EFF did not seek administrative power due to the party not receiving the bulk of the vote, Malema explained last year.
Malema has responded to the criticism and allegations by saying that, to him, although there’s little difference in policy between the ANC and the DA, the EFF had to “choose a better devil”.
“The DA is the better devil,” he told reporters during a press conference in Alexandra last year.
He added that “we couldn’t be neutral, we had to take sides. This is history. We were caught between two devils.”