The climax of the first elective conference of South Africa’s firebrand Economic Freedom Fighters ended with the discord the new party has been trying to avoid.
Senior colleagues of leader Julius Malema accused him of dictatorial behaviour. At least two of the party’s 25 MPs have refused to stand for executive posts.
There’s been a pattern of violence at meetings of the year-old Economic Freedom Fighters. To the extent that the ruling African National Congress as dismissed the breakaway party as fascist rebels The EFF seemed have curbed this disruptiveness at its first elective conference in Bloemfontein at the weekend.
The party’s top six leaders were elected unopposed.
But then members claimed party leader Julius Malema – who formed the EFF after being expelled as ANC Youth League leader – is trying to impose his preferred candidates on the collective.
Delegates revealed a list of preferred members aligned to Malema which had been circulated among provincial leaders.
Angry EFF members call the unopposed nomination of central command team leaders a farce.
Malema then took to the podium and warned other provinces that they are encouraging anarchists.
Members from the country’s heartland Gauteng province booed the commander-in-chief and led a walkout as nominations drew to a close.