09 January 2014
Economic Freedom Fighters, a radical economic emancipation movement takes this opportunity to speak to the people of South Africa through this Press Conference, where all members of the media are welcome.
Since the Official Launch in Marikana, Fighters, Commissars, and Organizers of the EFF have been on the ground, establishing structures of EFF and preparing the Elections Machinery, which will in both low and high intensity conduct one of the most vigorous and cogent elections campaigns in South Africa with the intention to win. The EFF will be contesting elections to win, not to be opposition. Since our official Launch in Marikana, there have been various developments in South Africa, Africa and the world, which we believe we should express definite and clear political perspectives and positions on, with the intention of providing ideological leadership to the people of South Africa, most of whom look upon us for leadership.
1. ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH
EFF has grown by leaps and bounds since the Marikana Launch. Thousands of South Africans have joined the EFF and thousands of Volunteers have pledged to be EFF Volunteers across the country. We can now proudly announce that all Provinces have no less than 10 000 EFF Elections Volunteers, who will be engaged in community meetings, door to door, motorcades, mini rallies, rallies, house meetings, and all other forms of campaigns to mobilise, organise and educate the people of South Africa that the EFF is the only solution to the political and economic crisis of South Africa.
Since Marikana, EFF was joined by prominent members and seasoned Activists in all branches, sub-regions, regions, provinces and at the Central Command level. We particularly announce and welcome Commissars Dali Mpofu and Magdalene Moonsamy into the Central Command Team (CCT) of the EFF. We also welcome Fighter Manzini from Mpumalanga, who brings massive legislative experience and have joined the Mpumalanga Provincial Command Team (PCT); and Fighter Wiekus Kotze, who brings massive social movement experience and will join the PCT of Gauteng.
Commissar Dali Mpofu will be leading the Justice and Special Projects portfolio and has already commenced work in this portfolio. He will be convening the Progressive Lawyers for Economic Freedom, whose immediate task will be to find long lasting justice and reparation to the ex-Mineworkers in the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape. Commissar Magdalene Moonsamy heads the EFF International Relations and Solidarity Portfolio, and Commissar Andile Mngxitama has been shifted from this Portfolio to Land and Agrarian Reform.
Since the Marikana official launch, EFF has secured an accessible Head Office in Braamfontein, 78 De Korte Street, Mineralia Building, 3rd Floor. Members of the Media and all Members of the Public will be made aware of the official opening event of the Headquarters of EFF. Since Marikana, majority of our Provinces and some regions have secured offices in their respective Provinces and regions. We particularly congratulate the Region of Vhembe for opening and operating 8 Offices for the four sub-regions of Vhembe.
The EFF Headquarters is aware that most members who have joined have not yet received their membership cards. The Head Headquarters is working with Provinces capturing membership data and will ensure that all members have their membership cards on time. However, receipt of membership cards must not be a stumbling block to doing Organisational work. All Fighters, Organisers and Commissars are called into Action and should continue doing Organisational and Elections work.
2. THE PASSING AWAY OF TATA NELSON MANDELA
EFF respectfully paid tribute to Tata Nelson Mandela because he was part of the critical collective that brought political freedom to South Africa. We believe that political freedom is always essential for economic freedom that is why on our visit to his home in Houghton, and during our viewing of his remains at the Union Buildings (which should be renamed); we reaffirmed our commitment that we have picked up the spear and will fight for economic freedom. We made a commitment to Tata Nelson Mandela that in our lifetime; we will realize economic freedom because that is exactly what is going to happen.
EFF is however not pleased with aspects of how the current government handled the Farewell and Funeral of Tata Mandela, particularly the prioritization of Party Political and Factional interests over the country’s logical interests. The question is why was ANC Deputy President and National Chairperson presiding over the Official State Memorial Service and Funeral when there is a sitting Deputy President of the State? The question is why were prominent South Africans, such as Arch Desmond Tutu and former President Thabo Mbeki, who lived with and worked with Mandela in important part of his life excluded from the main proceedings?
The question is why people of Qunu and the Eastern Cape were excluded from the official funeral of Tata Nelson Mandela? The Mandela we know was a person of the people, who was proud of his origins and his people, so why was he given an elite funeral? Our knowledge of African tradition is that attendance of funerals is not as per exclusive invitation of elites, but an open occasion which should be attended by those who wish to pay their last respects. The elitism, the fear of the people and general disregard of the masses led to the manner in which the current government handled proceedings.
EFF will honour Tata Nelson Mandela for the political freedom, and take his advice that if the government of the day does to us what apartheid did to the people, we should do to the government of the day what we did to apartheid. In honour of Nelson Mandela, EFF is ready to confront emerging signs of dictatorship, a murderous regime that massacres workers, corruption, looting of State funds, directionlessness and mediocrity that define the current government.
3. NUMSA SPECIAL CONGRESS
EFF welcomes the outcomes of the NUMSA Special Congress and salute the determination of metalworkers to confront Capitalism and its Political representatives in South Africa. We are pleased that the industrial working class is taking the lead of organised workers to confront the super-exploitation of workers in South Africa. All workers should be like NUMSA and appreciate that the ANC is not and will never be a vehicle to liberate the working class, because they still believe that social grants and lousy RDP Houses are means to emancipate the working class.
EFF notes the observations of NUMSA’s Organizational Report on the EFF and agrees with the assertion that “The political posture of the EFF, as it is written in the organisation’s declaration and manifesto, is very similar to that of Numsa”. As regards to other observations, we believe there are areas that require open and official engagements to discuss and establish common ground. The reality is that Capitalist interests are united in the exploitation, oppression and exclusion of the working class. All working class formations and revolutionary movements should be united in the anti-capitalist struggles. We all have nothing to lose, but our chains. None of the revolutionary formations, including NUMSA and the EFF hold exclusive monopoly over the ideological character and content of the struggles of the working class; hence we need a united front to confront Capitalism and its political representatives.
4. MATRIC RESULTS
EFF congratulate all learners who passed the National Senior Certificate in 2013 and wish them the best in their future programmes. EFF Structures and members should engage in practical work to ensure that all eligible students are admitted into institutions of higher learning and all post-secondary education, skills and training facilities and programmes. Our concern remains the fact that the entire post-secondary education, skills and training sphere cannot accommodate the more than 400 000 learners who passed Matric, adding to the crisis of unemployment and other social ills.
EFF Elections Manifesto will provide a coherent way forward on the entire education system in South Africa, premised on the view that education should be quality, free and able to prepare all the youth for various opportunities. FET Colleges should be able to absolve learners who could not pass Matric and provide them with Vocational Training and Skills Development. The National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) should absolve all students who cannot afford education in all Higher Education and FET institutions. Registration fees for poor students should be paid for by NSFAS, and should not be a precondition to apply for NSFAS and admission into other programmes.
5. 2014 GENERAL ELECTIONS
The EFF will be contesting the 2014 General Elections with the sole intention to win. The EFF will field Candidates for all spheres of National and Provincial Government and will submit the maximum number of candidates required for each Legislature. We however have realized that the playing field for elections is not level. Most of the election laws, rules, and regulations favour the existing political parties and the majority party in Government.
During the course of the week, the EFF will approach the IEC, ICASA and Electoral Court to raise the following issues:
a) The compulsory registration fee of R45 000 per political party per province and R200 000 per political party nationally because such exclude parties that do not have money, yet have massive following of the people to democratically participate in elections.
b) The IEC Funding Model which funds Political Parties in Parliament only and give them as per the number of seats they occupy in Parliament. This is unfair! In essence, the IEC is funding political parties to retain the same number of seats they currently occupy.
c) The ICASA Regulation that states media coverage, mainly radio and television will be spread across parties as per their current seats in Parliament – this is not fair and prejudices new political parties that deserve a level playing field to canvass all South Africans through all platforms.
We believe an amicable resolution of these issues will level the playing field and guarantee all South Africans an equal opportunity to vote for a government of their preference, not a government whose election was over funded by the IEC and their Manifesto imposed through broadcast media.
d) The Municipality By-Laws that demand fees from Political Parties to put up Posters also prejudices new political parties because the fees, particularly in bigger Metropolitans are very high.
The 2014 Elections will be elections of the Red beret and all political parties will be imitating what the EFF does. We are not perturbed by dying and crisis-ridden Organisations that lack creativity and choose to imitate what the EFF does and represents. The EFF is a Trendsetter and there are still many other things political parties will copy and imitate from us because we are relevant and will be relevant until elections victory.
The Red Beret remains our symbol, a symbol of commitment to the struggle for economic freedom. We derived the inspiration from Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Thomas Sankara and many other great revolutionaries.
On the 8th and 9th February 2014, all EFF structures should mobilise voters who are not yet registered to go and register to vote.
6. IMMEDIATE PROGRAMME
As part of ensuring that the EFF rises to become a truly alternative political vehicle for the emancipation of the poor of South Africa, the leadership will embark on visits to the following provinces:
KwaZulu Natal: 10 – 13 January, 2014
Eastern Cape: 14 – 16 January, 2014
Western Cape: 17 – 19 January, 2014
Mpumalanga: 20 – 22 January, 2014
The CCT delegation will be led by Commander in Chief and will focus on meeting the EFF structures across the provinces, community meetings and membership recruitment. In addition, the leadership will meet different constituencies to continue election manifesto consultations that commenced with Professionals, Former Mineworkers, and Communities in rural and urban settings.
In KwaZulu Natal, the EFF will officially open a House we have built for a poor family in Nkandla, next to the illegal and illegitimate private residence of the current, outgoing President of South Africa. From 2013, EFF has been in a process of constructing the house because we are a caring organisation that extends help and assistance to those it can help.
7. R1 BILLION ON MHALA MHALA GAME RESERVE
EFF condemns and rejects the South African Government expenditure of R1 Billion to buy back the land which all parties agree belongs to the people of the community in Mpumalanga. The R1 Billion should have been used in improving agriculture, not buying land from those who stole it.
8. PUBLIC PROTECTOR
The EFF awaits the release of the Public Protector report on the Nkandla corruption, where the current President knowingly used State money to upgrade his private residence in the name of security upgrading. The inter-ministerial report released by Thulas Nxesi is pure hogwash and has already been delegitimised by Michael Zuma who said that the claim that R52 million was spent to relocate families is false because no families were relocated in Nkandla. Furthermore, we do not understand why the Prosecutions Authority has not yet acted on the public admission by Michael Zuma that he accepted a bribe from a housing construction company he helped secure a housing contract in the Free State Province.
7. MANIFESTO LAUNCH
The EFF victorious election manifesto will be launched on the 22 of February 2014 in Mehlareng Stadium, Tembisa, Ekhuruleni. Towards the official launch, the EFF will hold and continue with Manifesto Consultative Forums and Platforms, including on Social Media in order to produce solutions that are ideologically sound, practical, and rooted on what the people of South Africa need.
EFF will continue to mobilise, organise and educate the people of South Africa towards attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime. We fear no one and will fight to the bitter end. No surrender! No retreat! Salute!
Issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters
MBUYISENI QUINTIN NDLOZI (National Spokesperson)
Cell Number: +27 73 133 3012