Newly elected Economic Freedom Fighters secretary general Marshall Dlamini has endorsed the decision by the party’s disciplinary committee not to reinstate eight expelled members who appealed to the national people’s assembly last week.
In an interview with City Press, Dlamini said he was satisfied with the recommendations of the national disciplinary committee not to reinstate the eight members expelled because they did not show any remorse.
“I think the committee took the right decision because when you’re showing remorse, it must demonstrate that you acknowledge that you made a mistake. But you can’t apologise on one side and on the other you’re doing the same thing you were expelled for,” said Dlamini.
He added that because the members did not follow instructions not to speak to the media during their appeal process, this showed that they were unrepentant and labelled them as “attention seekers”.
“If the organisation has put a sanction on you, the organisation goes back to all those cases, all those people that wrote to the disciplinary committee even closer to the conference were still on social media insulting the EFF and calling the leadership names. So it was just a way to get attention, they are attention seekers because why would you write a letter if you are not remorseful?” said Dlamini.
In its organisational report delivered by former party secretary general Godrich Gardee, the EFF announced that 70 members had been expelled or suspended since 2015. Of the 70, eight had applied to the congress to be reinstated.
Among them were former KwaZulu-Natal provincial command team member Lungile Gabuza who was expelled recently for refusing to accept a central command team’s decision to pass on a parliamentary seat despite being next on the list.
Dlamini questioned why one of the members went on radio to insult the leadership and its commitment to the party.
“One of them [expelled members] wrote to the national people’s assembly when we were already at Nasrec and that person was on radio two days ago insulting the EFF, saying the party was bad, it deserted its commitment and policies. It was just people who were seeking attention,” Dlamini said.
He said the EFF had made a lot of progress since its first elective conference.
I think the committee took the right decision because when you’re showing remorse, it must demonstrate that you acknowledge that you made a mistake.
“What will be different is that we had an honest conversation at Nasrec about our achievements and our failures. So, we’ll go and improve on those weaknesses, because at the first assembly we had no reference. Now as the second central command team we have reference, we know the dos and the don’ts. We know the mistakes we made and the intention is not to go there again. The delegates told us where we did right and wrong,” the new secretary general said.
On the third day of the conference, delegates laid bare the strengths and weaknesses of the leadership and complained about the lack of membership cards. They urged the new central command team to resolve these issues.
On the issue of membership cards, Dlamini said this could cause members to lose interest in the party.
“They [members] want to hold on to their cards with pride, but once they do not get them within the expected time frame they lose interest.
“And it is an honest observation, it is one of the challenges that we thought of because it also talks to the image of the organisation. This will show people we are an organisation that can account. So this is one of the issues that we are going to zoom into immediately, to ensure that the cards come at a record time,” he said.
Dlamini told City Press that this new leadership would be accountable according to the mandate given at the conference.
“The mandate we were given at Nasrec was clear and we must go and account. When we finish our term we must go back and account so it starts now, it can’t be delayed. So, accountability is going to be the order of the day,” said Dlamini.
He told City Press that the EFF would be working harder towards getting into local government in 2021.
“Our intention is to go for everything, there is no place we are going to compromise. Our focus when we go for 2021 elections will be [to win] from Cape Town to Musina. We are not going to compromise anything because once you start saying no let’s leave this part and prioritise this part, then you are already dividing in terms of how you respect our voters. We treat our voters exactly the same way. We know that all of them deserve a better government, they deserve to have jobs.
“Our focus is going to be 100% on the whole country but Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela, eThekwini and Ekurhuleni metros – those are the ones we are going to double our efforts to win. There are no compromises, there is no municipality that will be left unattended,” said Dlamini.
Dlamini has been lauded with increasing the EFF’s support base from 70 823 in 2014 to 1 882 480 during this year’s national and provincial elections.