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EFF celebrates its election performance

The party won over six percent of the national vote and became the official opposition in two provinces.

EFF leaders Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu and Dali Mpofu address media at the IEC national election results centre in Pretoria on 10 May 2014. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

PRETORIA - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has thanked the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for conducting free and fair elections.

Malema was briefing the media on his party's results at the IEC national results centre in Pretoria.

The firebrand politician also congratulated the African National Congress (ANC) on its victory.

A triumphant Malema thanked his supporters for sending him to Parliament.

"We particularly want to thank the 1 million plus voters who voted for the EFF. We are encouraged by those voters for having been brave during their circumstances."

He also called for calm in Alexandra after a night of violence.

"People in Alexandra, we call upon you to accept defeat. Do it in a dignified manner. Do not put South Africa into ashes because of an election outcome."

Malema told media the party would now establish a youth command centre.

"We are going to announce a Youth Command Team. Its interim structure will establish a youth wing of the EFF. We will also be establishing a Women Command Team."

The ANC Youth League says it's not concerned about the EFF's new youth wing poaching its members.

The league's national task team convenor Mzwandile Masina says the new party was humiliated at the polls.

"The ANC will always appeal to young people.The EFF has suffered humiliation although they made strides in growing their party."

At the same time, Malema also pleaded for the release of the more than 280 missing school girls in Nigeria.

"We dedicate this victory to the beautiful girls in Nigeria. We say to them that it might look difficult wherever you are, but we are coming to fetch you."

A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN

The EFF won over six percent of the national vote, out-performing newcomer AgangSA and becoming the official opposition in two provinces.

Analysts said the party emerged as the breakthrough party in this year's election.

Political analyst Professor Adam Habib said it looked like the EFF took votes away from the ANC.

"A large number of people who were angry with the ANC and who felt they were not in a position to vote for the Democratic Alliance (DA), have thrown their hat in with the EFF."

While DA leader Helen Zille says 20 percent of her party's votes in this election were cast by black people, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy Steven Friedman doesn't believe the DA took votes away from the ANC.

"It seems reasonable that most, if not all, of the ANC drop went to the EFF rather than the DA."