Malema calls on members to occupy SA's mines

The EFF leader called on members to target mines where ANC members have BEE shares.

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: AFP.

BLOEMFONTEIN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has made a call to its members and supporters to occupy the country's mines in an attempt to force private companies to deliver basic services.

Party leader Julius Malema yesterday called on the red berets to target mines where African National Congress leaders have Black Economic Empowerment shares.

He said these protests should continue until the money spent on BEE deals is transferred to communities.

Malema questioned why protests are always directed at government, saying the time has come to target private companies and institutions.

He was speaking at the last day of the EFF's inaugural National People's Assembly, which he said ran smoothly, without any major incidents despite Gauteng EFF members staging a walkout on Monday night.

They claimed Malema tried to whitewash the election of 35 additional members of the Central Command Team.

The EFF leader said mines in which ANC leaders such as Cyril Ramaphosa and Baleka Mbete have shares should be targeted first.

"There must be a programme to close down those mines."

But he said the campaign should not be exclusive to the ANC and billionaire Patrice Motsepe's Harmony Gold should also be targeted because together they represent the black leaders that sold out the revolution.

"Because those are the people who have sold us out. They are eating today in our name and they forgot about us."

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Malema said they would not only focus on mines and will take their protests to the banks because poor people are being exploited by their policies.

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Malema extended an olive branch to his detractors and members of the Gauteng delegation of the party's National People's Assembly, saying no one will be purged and everything that happened was within the rules of the conference.

On Monday, two Members of Parliament (MPs) declined nominations to serve, protesting apparent nominations lists which some delegates claim were pre-determined.

Malema said the disruptions caused by some regions are part of democratic processes and he considers the EFF conference one of the best he's ever attended.

The EFF leader said the party has learnt a lesson.

"All those who were chanting and getting agitated during elections, we forgive you, we know that elections can be emotional and we have learnt a lesson and will perform better next time."

Malema also vowed that party members who declined nominations will not be purged from their positions in Parliament.

"To all those who declined a nomination, it is your call to remain members of the EFF. There is no one who is going to deal with you. No MPs will be removed from Parliament on the basis that he or she declined a nomination."