News24/Sapa, 03 July 2014
Johannesburg – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has no problem working with Numsa as both are fighting for the same cause, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.
“[However] Numsa has a problem working with us,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.
“We fully support the Numsa strike that says workers must get a living wage.”
Malema said his party had tried on numerous occasions to get in touch with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and build a relationship to advance the needs of workers, but with no success.
“We have tried making advances to Numsa, but we cannot impose ourselves,” he said.
Numsa members have been on strike since Tuesday. The union’s demands include a 15% wage increase in a one-year deal and a R1 000 housing allowance for its members.
Malema warned the ANC in Gauteng about the treatment of EFF MPLs in the legislature. He said kicking them out of the legislature would result in the province becoming ungovernable.
“Continuation to remove EFF from legislature through unruly methods will lead to instability in this province. We will fight. We have the capability to mobilise our people and fight physically.”
EFF MPLs were removed from the legislature on Tuesday for wearing red overalls bearing slogans. Police were called in when they refused to heed the speaker’s order to leave the chamber.
“We are not scared of anything. We will bring our voters into the city and they will know who we are. They must not push because we have the capacity to fight,” Malema said.
The ANC should remember it had not won the province during the recent election. He said the results were “corrupt and fraudulent”.
Malema said the removal of MPLs from the Gauteng legislature was a sign of an internal battle within the ANC.
“It is an internal political battle more than a battle between the ANC and EFF. They are projecting Zuma as being not so reasonable. This [is] because [in] the National Assembly the ANC accepted overalls and paid attention to the ideological content of debates.”
He said EFF members would continue wearing their attire to remind those in legislatures who they represented.
“We are defying colonialist decorum. We are not English-made. We are workers, and we are going to wear those clothes and we are unapologetic about it.”
Malema quashed any suggestions of his party forming a trade union. He said they were working with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
“We are encouraging our members to join Amcu.”
He said the focus was on building and strengthening the EFF.
“We have an organisation to focus on. We can’t be all over the place.”
EFF members were putting pressure on the leadership to form a union, but “we are telling them to relax and focus on building the organisation”.
There was room for a trade union movement in the country, which was why Amcu was doing so well in the mining sector, he said.