EFF support among women pathetic, says Julius Malema as he mulls over women's command

EFF leader Julius Malema is not satisfied with levels of support among women for his party.
EFF leader Julius Malema is not satisfied with levels of support among women for his party.
Image: Alaister Russell

The EFF may well establish a women's command at its national people's assembly next month in an attempt to woo more women to the party.

EFF leader Julius Malema said this at a press conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg on Thursday.

According to Malema, women had not warmed to the EFF. This was also the case across the party's social media accounts, where women accounted for less than 30% of followers.

Women's support of the EFF was “pathetic”, he summed up.

Said Malema: “I am persuaded to agree with the formation of the women's command, not because there has been a thorough political work done to produce a creme de la creme of women in the EFF ... but the support the EFF is getting from women can perhaps change if there is a women's organisation that focuses specifically on women.

“EFF support among women is very pathetic. Just look on Facebook support of the EFF, only 24% is women; on Instagram [it] is 26%. Perhaps we can get more women to support the EFF if we start a women's command.”

Malema said the low support from women could be motivated by many things, including the fact that there were only two women in the party's top six - and those were the fringe positions of deputy secretary-general and treasurer-general.

Malema's view contrasts with a proposal in the party's discussion document prepared for the upcoming assembly, which says the EFF is not ready for new structures such as a women's command.

The recommendation is in the discussion document “Organisational Character and Redesign”. The discussion paper rules out the establishment of an EFF-aligned trade union, youth wing or women’s wing.

EFF leader Julius Malema addressed members of the press on November 21 2019. Malema spoke on numerous topics in the lead-up to the December 9 EFF conference to be held at Nasrec.

“The EFF has not yet attained organisational maturity necessary for it to carry additional organisations such as trade unions, women and youth wings, which are mandated by the constitution,” the report states.

The verdict on whether to establish group-specific commands within the party will be sealed by the 4,500 delegates expected to converge on Nasrec next month.

Malema also explained why the discussion paper discouraged the formation of new structures, saying it was not because he wanted to centralise power to himself.

“Every time you introduce a layer in an organisation, people think they have power. We cannot have that. There is one EFF, commanded from one central point.

“I cannot form four organisations at the same time. It is not about me being challenged, because I am not scared of being challenged. Those who think they can challenge me must come and let us see what they can do. 

“I will not allow the mushrooming of [commands], which I will be judged on as an individual who leads the mother body when they fail.”

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