EFF looks to play bigger role in governance after local government elections, says Julius Malema
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Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema says the EFF hopes to go into coalition governance, if it clinches co-governing agreements for the 2021 local government elections.
Malema on Wednesday said the party would engage in coalition talks, only on a case-by-case basis, based on municipalities.
He indicated that the party would not bind itself, but was looking to play a bigger role than it did in 2016.
The EFF had played a role in 2016, where the DA sought votes to run the City of Johannesburg and in Tshwane.
It did not have any of its members take up leadership positions when it agreed to coalition agreements.
This time, Malema said the situation would be different for the party.
“This time around, we are going into coalition government as ourselves, as the EFF. We think we have amassed the necessary experience, and we have got men and women who are now capable enough to lead successful municipalities. And those coalitions will be based on that.
“Rest assured, after these local government elections, there will be metros with EFF mayors – either directly or through coalition,” Malema said.
The EFF leader confirmed that his party had met the 9pm Monday deadline, to submit its candidate list to IEC. The EFF will be contesting all 4 468 wards in the country, situated in districts and metropolitan municipalities.
The EFF plans to launch its election manifesto on September 26. Malema said this manifesto would be compiled, following extensive consultation with citizens and EFF branches.
Malema said the government should loosen lockdown restrictions, to allow political parties to freely campaign.
The country is currently scheduled to hold elections on October 27.
This date has been proclaimed, however, the IEC has approached the Constitutional Court seeking a postponement to February 2022.
The apex court has yet to rule on the matter, after hearing oral arguments last week.
Malema said the EFF still believes the current conditions, with a raging Covid-19 pandemic, were still not conducive for elections to be held.
He said the party has nonetheless started preparing for the elections, whether the date is in October or February.
Malema said, for free and fair elections to take place, parties had to be allowed to campaign without restrictions and take their message to citizens.
“Political parties must be allowed to convene political gatherings and engage members of the community on alternatives. Disallowing political parties from campaigning undermines the freeness and fairness of elections, and will compromise South Africa’s democratic project. We call on the government to open the country for free and fair elections,” Malema said.
Malema downplayed lockdown regulations, saying his party would not comply with them because this would leave an open window for “criminals”.
He said all party activities of the EFF, including regional meetings, would take place as usual – and no police officer would stop these gatherings.
[In Case You Missed It 🎥]: We call on all our branches to immediately continue with the hard work of campaigning for total victory in all the Wards. #EFFPresser— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) August 25, 2021
Victory is Certain pic.twitter.com/lDmAMfz6sL
"What lockdown, there is no lockdown? We have registered candidates. They want us to stay at home, while they are busy doing meetings and electing candidates. We must never listen to our enemies telling us how to fight them. We are back to the streets," he said.