JULIUS Malema has called on East London’s informal settlement residents to stop voting for the ANC if they want to end abject poverty.
He said the ANC had not replaced shacks with houses because its leaders now lived in plush suburbs and forgot about the the poor.
“Teach the ANC a lesson. Give them a shock. Vote Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF],” he said to rapturous applause.
Malema is on a campaign trail in the province until Saturday, when he is to address thousands in Mdantsane’s Sisa Dukashe stadium. Nompumelelo is home to thousands who live in extreme poverty. Yesterday hundreds braved the heat on a soccer field, the only sizable venue in the area.
Malema said the EFF’s premier candidate in the province identified with people from Nompumelelo. “Themba Wele is from Orange Grove … He knows how it is to live in a shack … just like you.”
Instead of reading his speech, Malema first asked the elderly and the young to share their grievances.
Nomfusi Mvenelo said: “The issue of illegal electricity wires has fallen on deaf ears. Our children are dying. Fix this for us.”
Exposed power cables, referred to as izinyoka, as well as having to share four toilets with a thousand households, were among the problems.
Malema said: “If anyone doubts unemployment, the proof is in front of me.” His gesture to the crowd was met with loud cheers.
He drew attention to the Nkandla scandal, saying the President was living lavishly compared to people in Nompumelelo.
“If you want a President whose cows live better than you, then vote for him. The choice is yours.”
The Public Protector’s report found that Public Works built the President a R1-million cattle kraal.
Malema also hit out at the SACP, saying the party of Chris Hani had drifted away from fighting for the poor.
Malema said the ANC had made a terrible blunder by abandoning the Eastern Cape, “Mandela’s people … the heartland of the ANC”.
He promised the first 5000 people at the rally on Saturday would receive EFF’s “fashionable beret and T-shirt”.
“We are stylish and set the trend. That is why every party now wants to wear a beret.
“Come get one for yourself,” he added.