Economic freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema arrived at 1.10pm on Sunday to a rousing welcome in a packed Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg where he will speak at the party’s final election rally ahead of the May 8 general elections.
Thousands of EFF supporters packed the 40,000 seater stadium in anticipation of Malema’s speech. The party’s central message for the 8 May general election is “land and jobs now” as it promises expropriation of land without compensation.
Malema is pushing to double the EFF’s support from the six percent it received in 2014. A gruelling election campaign saw him criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country.
“We have come to hear what the CIC is going to say about the expropriation of land without compensation. We want land. We want it now,” said an EFF supporter entering the stadium.
Supporters from Ward 55 in Johannesburg arrived in full force, carrying party flags into the stadium. They have been kept entertained by various musicians, including Stilo Magolide, Alaska, and others.
Malema is expected to address the crowd despite the death of his grandmother Koko Sarah Malema on Saturday. EFF supporters carried placards bearing messages of condolences to Malema and his family.
Koko Sarah died at her home in Seshego, Polokwane in Limpopo on Saturday morning. It was the second tragedy to hit the family in as many months after the death of Malema’s aunt, Koko Sarah’s daughter.
Koko Sarah has been a pillar of strength for the Malemas, raising Julius from a young age when his mother Florah died following an epileptic fit. She was by Malema’s side when he was expelled from the African National Congress and when he formed the EFF, as well as when he graduated and when he got married.
Malema has been very open about the close relationship he had with his grandmother, how she instilled discipline in him and raised him to be an “honourable man”.
In a tweet on Sunday morning, Malema said, “We want to take this opportunity to thank you for the messages of condolences for our grandmother. Your words are indeed helping us to navigate this uncertain time. She was my loyal and dependable force in the struggle. We have been through a lot together. Thanks you everyone.”
Condolences have been pouring in following Koko Sarah’s death, including from President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as the ANC.
– African News Agency (ANA