EFF leader Julius Malema says the ANC’s decision to bring back former president Thabo Mbeki on the campaign trail is a desperate move by the governing party ahead of the general elections in less than two weeks.
Malema was speaking to journalists at the Rand Easter Show on Tuesday, soon after the former ANC president signed the pledge to vote for the governing party.
“These are historic elections. That’s why they [ANC] went to resurrect president Mbeki now because they can see that it is the most difficult one. And if they had a way of going to Qunu to ask for intervention they would be doing the same. If [pastor] Lukau really had the real power to resurrect people, they will be begging Lukau to go to Qunu to perform a miracle [and resurrect the late former president Nelson Mandela]. They are in trouble. They are in desperate need and we are on top of them,” said Malema.
The EFF was forced to delay its press briefing due to the media scramble to cover Mbeki’s visit to the party’s pavilion.
During the 2016 Local Government Elections, EFF leaders including Malema visited the former president at his house in Killarney, Johannesburg for a photo opportunity just days before South Africans were to cast their votes.
The move was interpreted in some quarters as an endorsement of Malema’s red berets, particularly because at the time, Mbeki refused to publicly endorse and campaign for the ANC.
The ANC suffered a serious blow during the 2016 Local Government Elections, losing key metros such as Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.
Malema is confident that the EFF will perform even better during the 2019 general elections.
He jokingly said Deputy President David Mabuza was spot on by referring to him on Twitter at the weekend as the President of the Republic of SA.
“I am going to be president. I think David Mabuza can see the future. So, he is very clear. That’s how it is. The EFF is going to be the biggest player in this election,” said Malema.
Previous polls showed the EFF will double its performance to at least 12% during the 2019 general elections. In 2014, the party received just over a million votes, earning it 25 seats in the National Assembly.
Political observers predict that the EFF will improve its performance in both the ANC and the DA’s strongholds of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.
Malema has been criss-crossing the country, promising jobs and land to voters.
The party hopes to be the kingmakers in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, Western Cape and the Free State.
“You can’t go into a box ring to lose. We are going into the boxing to win the elections. All the research shows this party is going to shock a lot of people. When the results start trickling in at the results centre some people will be frequenting the bathroom because they will be having a runny tummy because of the EFF numbers.
“We are on the ground. The media has taken an unfortunate decision to close us out. They are not showing our campaign and we have accepted that. But we then chose to be aggressive on social media and even eNCA keeps on stealing our posting on Twitter account because they are not there. “We have accepted our situation and said coverage or no coverage let’s go work the ground and speak to the voters directly,” said Malema.
Malema ruled out any possible coalition with the Democratic Alliance after the general elections.
The EFF formed a coalition government with the DA and other opposition parties in Tshwane and Johannesburg after the 2016 Local Government Elections.
“The DA issued [an] advert to say we stole money from VBS [bank]. They issued the poster to say stop the EFF. After insulting us like that they expect to call us again to sit down and share a government.
“I don’t think it will work. We are giving DA power in Tshwane and Joburg and then they are biting the hand that feeds them and expect that hand to feed them. It is unscientific and it won’t work.”
He described the DA as a racist organization that never appreciated the efforts of black people.
“Even when you give them your support, they still call you names. I am not saying the DA must always agree with us. They must have the decency of saying we’ve got some form of agreement with these guys. You’ve got to respect your partners at all times,” said Malema.
He said his party would consider a coalition with the ANC rather than DA.
“We will go to a discussion with the ANC. The ANC has not been hostile to us. The ANC has not been engaged in violent activities against us. We will listen to them, if they don’t make sense, we will show them the door,” Malema said.
“I don’t imagine sitting with Mmusi Maimane on the same table after he accused us of stealing money of VBS even though there is no evidence,” added the EFF leader.