Thursday, 26 August 2021


EFF leader Julius Malema says the government should loosen lockdown restrictions to allow political parties to freely campaign and prepare for this year's local government elections.

The country is scheduled to hold elections on October 27. While this date has been proclaimed by government, the IEC has, however, approached the Constitutional Court seeking a postponement to February 2022.

The apex court has yet to rule on the matter. Meanwhile, Malema on Wednesday said the EFF still believes that the current conditions, with a raging Covid-19 pandemic, were not conducive for elections to take place.

He added that the party has nonetheless started preparing for the elections, whether the date is in October or February.

Malema highlighted that for free and fair elections to take place, parties must 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.

"Free and fair elections are not determined by what happens on voting day. They are primarily defined by the democratic right to freely and fairly campaign before voting day. We call on the government to open the country for free and fair elections," he said.

The red beret leader downplayed lockdown regulations saying his party would not comply with them because this would leave an open window for "criminals".

He maintained that all party activities of the EFF, including regional meetings, would take place as usual, and no police officer would stop these gatherings.

"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.

The EFF leader confirmed that his party met the 9 pm Monday deadline to submit its candidate list to IEC.

The EFF will contest all 4468 wards in the country situated in districts and metropolitan municipalities. He said, unlike the ANC, his party's branch general assemblies, had gone ahead with no issues.

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.

On the IEC’s candidate registration system, Malema again decried the IEC's delay in closing online candidate submissions by 9 pm on August 23.

The organisation had set 5 pm as the initial deadline but moved the time to 9 pm on Monday following requests from some political parties.

Malema demanded that the IEC reveal the names of those political parties and continued his accusations that the IEC had moved the deadline to assist the ANC in meeting the deadline for submissions.

On Tuesday, IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo had explained that there were glitches in closing the online candidate submission system on time. He said any political party that had filed after 9 pm would be disqualified.

Political Bureau


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