The EFF has condemned an incident in Dambuza, KwaZulu-Natal, where what appears to be ANC members attempted to bar the leader of the Red Berets from inspecting a voting station.
The party demanded that the Independent Electoral Commission take action against the ANC for their members’ behaviour.
Scores of people clad in ANC regalia swarmed the centre’s gates just before 14:00 on Sunday afternoon, and tried to intimidate Julius Malema during his visit to the area outside Pietermaritzburg. The EFF leader visited the area as part of the party’s election campaigning.
In videos posted on social media, it is clear the locals were not too pleased with his presence, and the ANC supporters and their EFF counterparts nearly came to blows.
#sabcnews #sabckzn #LGE2021 #SADecides2021 Watch tensions at a voting station in KwaDambuza area outside Pietermaritzburg between ANC and EFF members. It was the first time EFF leader Julius Malema set foot in the area. pic.twitter.com/MaO0PE8b0b— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) September 19, 2021
Malema didn’t back down though, and continued his visit, insisting that the ANC will not be allowed to turn any part of the country into a no-go area. He also denied allegations that EFF members were illegally removing ANC posters to replace them with their own, saying the ANC doesn’t have any posters to remove.
[HAPPENING NOW ????]: CIC @Julius_S_Malema says the ANC is intolerant. There will never be no go areas in this country. #RegisterToVoteEFF pic.twitter.com/Z5p1hsU4JL— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 19, 2021
The EFF said in a statement that the incident of “clear desperation” from the ANC.
“In clear desperation, and seeing that their political power is slipping away, the criminals and drunkards of the dying ruling party launched an attack on EFF members, also striping (sic) away EFF gazebos and attacking our members who were exercising their democratic right to urge South Africans to register to vote.
WATCH: After police intervention that included talking to the leaders of the ANC branch at Willowfontein in Pietermaritzburg, the gates was opened and EFF leader Julius Malema allowed to go inside. @IOL pic.twitter.com/UFRNz0gPvG— Sihle Mavuso (@NewsBotZA) September 19, 2021
“The EFF want to make it categorically clear that there are no “no-go areas” where the EFF can campaign and no amount of drunk and disorderly behaviour by foolish individuals will stop us or prevent us from campaigning.”
[WATCH NOW ????]: The ANC is resorting to violence and is demonstrating the highest form of political intolerance, there will be serious repercussions. #RegisterToVoteEFF pic.twitter.com/lxB24mD9tn— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 19, 2021
More ANC disruption
Meanwhile, the DA has also called for action following apparent violent protests in the Eastern Cape’s Nyandeni Municipality, by ANC members who are unhappy with the party’s candidates for the upcoming elections.
Two voting stations in the area were apparently closed down by the protestors on Saturday, and it is unclear whether they were allowed to reopen on Sunday.
In a statement, the DA said the ANC is “showing absolute contempt for the people of our country by denying would-be voters their constitutional right to register in order for them to be able to vote in the elections on 1 November 2021”
“This is an assault on our democracy and cannot be accepted,” the statement read.
“The DA will monitor the situation to ensure that the residents of the Nyandeni Municipality are not denied their constitutional right to register and to vote on election day.”
- Compiled by Earl Coetzee