The ANCYL has robustly claimed that it is collapsing the EFF in KZN, with a number of key EFF members said to have defected to the party in 2016.
ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo made the claim at a press conference in Durban where a number of EFF members publicly joined the party.
Those joining included former EFF provincial coordinator Nathi Phewa and EFF provincial convener Reggie Ngcobo, who were among the key personnel who helped to establish the party in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We are speaking about the collapse of the EFF. We have collapsed the EFF in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Sabelo, who highlighted that those who had joined the ANC were founding members of the EFF in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The EFF has no structure in KwaZulu-Natal and we are just a few months away from an election.”
Sabelo claimed that the situation for the EF had become so dire in the province that its national leader, Julius Malema, himself a former leader of the ANCYL, had been forced to recruit party members from Limpopo and Gauteng to stand in the upcoming local government elections, expected to take place later this year.
Phewa said the motivation for EFF members to leave the party had stemmed from dissatisfaction at EFF’s national elective conference held in Bloemfontein at the end of 2014.
Phewa, who had proudly unveiled the EFF to the media at Durban’s Diakonia Centre in August 2013, accused Malema of being a dictator.
Dumisani Ngubani, a former provincial coordinator, accused Malema of being “tribalist”. He said that Malema only trusted people who were Pedi.
The provincial ANCYL chairman Thami Ngubane said of the new members: “These were leaders who started the EFF [in KwaZulu-Natal] from nothing. They delivered two seats [in the provincial legislature]. That is 100,000 voted [in the 2014 national elections] that were delivered by this leadership.”
He said he expected the defections to translate into votes for the ANC.
Among the 20 or so people at the press conference were also a Democratic Alliance member, Sthembiso Zimu, who said that he had been unable to stay in the party after the DA’s former police spokeswoman Dianne Kohler Barnard had been allowed to stay on in the party.
Kohler Barnard had last year initially been dismissed from the DA after she reposted a Facebook post that said life was better under apartheid. However, on appeal, her sanction was reduced and she was allowed to remain in the party.
Zimu urged all blacks to leave the party.
Ngubane said: “The problem in this country is the Democratic Alliance. The National Party was dissolved. We do have a portion of those who went to Australia. But some of them are here [in South Africa] voting for the DA.”
He labeled DA leader Mmusi Maimane as being “the flower boy that must attract Africans” for the party.
However, Jackie Shandu, the EFF’s current deputy chairman in the province dismissed the defections as “silly”.
Shandu, speaking by phone, said that Phewa and Ngcobo had long not been members of the EFF and, in fact, had more recently been members of Black First Land First and another political party.
“It’s silly. They don’t come from EFF. They come from those parties. They left EFF because they did not emerge victorious. They have not been with EFF for a very long time and they have no support,” he said.