Riyaz Patel

EFF president Julius Malema delivered a marathon 3-hour report on issues ranging from the state of the economy, GBV, government failures and organisational shortcomings as the party’s second elective national congress got underway at Nasrec, Johannesburg.

Ahead of the conference, the EFF barred certain media titles from its second National People’s Assembly.

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) had called on the EFF to ungag media banned from its elective conference.

“No journalists that have been stopped from covering the conference, what we are doing is stopping people who have a political interest… who have expressed their political interest,” the EFF’s Dali Mpofu responded.

News platform eNCA announced during Malema’s speech that it was withdrawing coverage from the EFF event.

One netizen, though, pointed to the stance, and lack of outcry, when the DA banned the Sowetan from its conference.

Malema in his report had strong words for the current administration. “We carry the obligation to remove the sitting government from political power because they are failing dismally.”

The EFF leader also lashed out at his party colleagues, saying some who are elected into positions are not loyal to the EFF but to the positions they hold.

Malema was harsh on the shortcomings of his colleagues.

“The EFF [central command team (CCT)] committees are not fully functional and despite being assigned to specific tasks, most commissars sitting in front here do not do anything in relation to their CCT portfolios. We must not lie.”

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He said the conference should note that most of those deployed in leadership positions were not loyal to the EFF.

“You are going to see it when this conference finishes. Some of them are not going to be elected and they are going to start insulting the organisation after not being elected,” said Malema.

He said the EFF had not built capacity to win by-elections and municipalities.

“It is so disappointing that you have a national leader of the EFF who can’t articulate EFF standpoints and vision on anything with clarity.

“I hope this conference will not use the CCT as a dumping area for mediocre, you must provide us with the best of the best,” Malema emphasized.

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He further criticised the party’s branches saying they didn’t meet regularly and were not involved in community struggles.

“That’s why when there are by-elections you don’t win wards because most of you are not known by your communities,” said Malema.

Malema said the EFF was established because of a failure of the former liberation movements. “Our movement was born as a response to injustice. It was born as a response to the long silence of a liberation movement, that lost its revolutionary character at the hands of capital.”

Malema impressed on delegates that discipline was the key to the EFF realising all their objectives.

EFF members will nominate the party’s top six officials, followed by elections Saturday night.

However, beyond the election of new leaders – the party will also hold debates behind closed doors on possible amendments to the EFF’s structures and constitution among other matters.

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