EFF leader Julius Malema has moved to defend the party’s repeated refusal to declare its financial donors in terms of the Political Funding Act amid growing questions around its financial sources.
On Saturday, Malema was at Winnie Mandela Park, Thembisa, on the East Rand, where the EFF held its Siyabonga rally to thank its supporters for backing it in the November 1 local elections.
Thousands of supporters and local residents converged on the dusty Sekhukhune sports ground, where the party slaughtered cattle on Friday as part of the thank you ceremony.
Malema however used the event to repeatedly assure its members that the party was not concealing receipt of dubious money by not making declarations like other major political parties, especially in relation to campaigns.
The funding act prescribes that political parties should declare their funders for donations exceeding R100,000.
Since the enactment of the act, the party has however never made any declaration, despite having been able to embark on a massive national election campaign drive ahead the elections.
Malema accused the party’s critics of hatred, as he pointed out that the IFP and the FF Plus had not been given the same scrutiny and pressure to declare their funders.
EFF leader Julius Malema told supporters that the party was not concealing receipt of dubious money by not making declarations like other major political parties, especially in relation to campaigns.
The ANC, DA, ActionSA, ACDP, Good and the Abantu Integrity Movement are the only parties that have declared their donations.
According to Malema, the party depended on the party levy it applied on its MPs, MPLs and councillors and that this did not require declaration in terms of the law.
He maintained that the party would not risk legal sanctions and possible registration over undeclared donations if it had secured questionable money or that which needed to be declared in terms of the law.
Thanking the party’s membership, dubbed the “ground forces”, for the spirited campaign ahead of the polls, Malema dismissed claims that the party had performed poorer than expected.
“How can we lose something we never had?” he said.
He insisted that the party was not under pressure to secure major political success, and that he and the party’s leaders wanted to build it “ground up” with a solid foundation.
Malema’s hardline defence of foreign nationals amid calls by other parties for tough action on illegal immigration has been blamed for the party’s electoral setbacks, including in Johannesburg where the party lost a seat despite the economic hub being its most prized council.
He, however, insisted that the party would not change its stance, including the call for the opening of borders for free movement, as this was in line with the party’s founding principles as a pan-African organisation.
With hung metros scheduled to begin convening to select mayors from Monday, Malema said the EFF had not joined any coalition partnership because it had been rejected by “white parties”.
This was in reference to the DA and the FF Plus, which had openly indicated that they would oppose any working relationship with the EFF as they did not share the same values with the red berets.
Malema said the party would sit on the opposition benches and hold those who would be in power accountable.