The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) flexed its muscles yesterday in Johannesburg’s Alexandra Township as tens of thousands of residents painted the Sankopano Stadium red in an area where the Democratic Alliance (DA) and ANC have been jostling for power in recent months.
The EFF leader was welcomed by tens of thousands of red-clad supporters, and railed against the ANC and ‘white people in Sandton’.
EFF leader Julius Malema, who received a huge welcome, said the rundown state of the township was an example of the ANC’s failure in governance.
“Alexandra is what South Africa looks like. You, Alexandra township, are the true reflection of South Africa.
“Anyone who wants to know the bloodline and what black people are subjected to all over South Africa, must come to Alex,” said Malema.
He said Alex was the home of the EFF because it represented the true circumstances under which the black majority lived.
He said the ANC needed to account for allegedly stealing millions of rands that were meant for the R1.7 billion Alex Rejuvenation Project, which was aimed at changing infrastructure, the economy and the social environment of the township.
“If you want to know what the ANC has done, come to Alex. They’ve done nothing. That’s why you’ll find nothing in Alex,” Malema said.
Residents held several protests in April, burning tyres and bringing the township to a standstill, while demanding housing and better services.
Malema warned that the “black elite” and white people in Sandton would one day face the revolt of people of Alexandra.
“How do white people in Sandton sleep when they see their neighbours here in Alex living like this?” asked Malema.
“We keep blaming government. Yes, let us do that, but what are Sandton people doing to help their neighbours.
“They are not doing anything but they are staying behind high walls because they are scared of us. They are eating alone and when you are eating alone your subconscious tells you to build high walls before these people come,” he said.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa visited the township last month to address residents, and promised to build them one million houses over the next five years.
Both Malema and Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba have dismissed this as a political publicity stunt to gain votes. They said it was not realistic, given the ANC’s poor track record in service delivery.
Alexandra has been a political hotbed, where campaigning has led to tensions between the residents and the DA in Gauteng.
Mashaba said the protest was orchestrated by the ANC in order to win votes ahead of the May 8 election.
The DA’s Gauteng premier candidate, Solly Msimanga, accused the ANC of orchestrating the protest as a way to undermine the DA.
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