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Malema issues stern warning to Zuma to leave office

Malema also said the EFF is not afraid of the country’s armed forces and will not be bullied into silence.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema addressing the supporters during the party’s manifesto launch at Orlando Stadium on 30 April 2016. Picture: @EFFSouthAfrica.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has issued a stern warning to President Jacob Zuma to leave office before the country's armed forces turn against him.

The EFF leader made the controversial remarks at the party's local government election manifesto launch held in Soweto yesterday.

Forty-thousand EFF members and supporters filled the Orlando Stadium to capacity as they listened to the EFF's commander in chief.

Malema also said the EFF is not afraid of the country's armed forces and will not be bullied into silence.

He said the EFF is not afraid of the police or the army.

"No one can defeat the power of a black nation, not even the army can defeat the power of a black nation."

He said the soldiers in the South African National Defence Force are also supporters of the eff who will not tolerate corruption and Zuma should be careful of this.

"I'm whispering to you Zuma wherever you are. Be warned, leave office before the soldiers turn their guns on you."

Malema also dared the police to arrest him after he was accused of treason and said the EFF won't hesitate to defend itself if it comes under attack.

WARNING TO IEC ON RIGGING VOTES

Malema also took a swipe at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), saying the IEC can't stop the party's pending victory in this year's local government elections, accusing the commission of stealing EFF votes in past elections.

Malema has warned the IEC to be like the judiciary and act independently in this year's local government elections.

"The IEC must be like the judiciary, you must be independent. You stole our votes in Alexandra."

Malema has accused the IEC of rigging past elections, saying the commission stole EFF votes in Alexandre and Thlokwe.

"The IEC got used to rig elections. We're warning you, they'll never defeat the power of black nations."

He said the IEC must not act as another political party - warning he just wants free and fair elections.

The IEC says it will not and has not commented on statement made.

WATCH: EFF: We have the best manifesto for SA

SUPPORTERS ARMED WITH EFF MANIFESTO

Meanwhile, Malema said he has armed thousands of supporters with the party's manifesto, saying this is the weapon for change in the country.

Last week, the ANC laid treason charges against Malema for saying the EFF would remove the ANC through the barrel of a gun if the governing party rigged the elections.

In a symbolic gesture after delivering what he called a contract with his supporters, Malema held up the party's manifesto to thousands of red berets.

"This is your weapon. This is the gun I was talking about. Take this gun and go and shoot them."

Malema said the ANC is wrong to accuse him of inciting violence as the EFF has been a peaceful movement, fighting battles in court and in Parliament for the poor.

"ANC is liked by clowns, that's why they confuse the truth with treason."

His supporters agreed with Malema, saying they will only take up arms in defense if anyone reacts violently towards their peaceful movement.

"We've no choice because ANC as the ruling party has the government, has the police and weaponry power."

Supporters say they are confident Malema will garner enough support to win the province in this year's local government, as people will vote to end corruption.

WE ARE NOT SCARED OF YOU

Malema has challenged the state to arrest him over his comments about the party taking up arms to defend themselves and says his supporters are not afraid of the police.

The EFF said it wants to demonstrate the success of its policies by introducing them at local government level and has asked South Africans to give it five years to prove itself.

Malema also launched a scathing attack on his detractors within the ANC, accusing them of using the state to suppress political opposition.

Malema said he doesn't believe the charges of treason laid against him are legitimate and he remains unafraid.

"Anyone who wants to arrest me, here I am, you can come and arrest me now. I'm not scared of all of you."

He said his party will not be intimidated by the police.

"Minister of police, we are not scared of you and your police. We are not scared of a violent state and we are ready to take you on anytime."

The commander in chief insists that the EFF if ready to take up arms against the state in self-defence if peaceful demonstrations are suppressed with violence.