Economic Freedom Fighters

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Economic Freedom Fighters
Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi
Commander in Chief Julius Malema
National Coordinator Mpho Ramakatsa
Slogan "Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime"
Founded 17 August 2013 (2013-08-17)
Headquarters Johannesburg
Ideology Marxism–Leninism,[1]
Left-wing populism,[2]
Political position Left-wing[3][4] to Far-left[5][6]
Colours Red[2][3][4]
Politics of South Africa
Political parties

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is a South African political party started by expelled former African National Congress (ANC) Youth League president Julius Malema, and his allies, in 2013.[7] Malema has been announced as "commander in chief" of the EFF, heading the "Central Command Team" which serves as the central structure of the party.[8] High profile members of the Central Command Team include Floyd Shivambu and newspaper columnist Andile Mngxitama.[9]

On 28 July 2013, at a press briefing in Soweto, Malema announced that the new party already had over 1000 members, double the 500 required for registration with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).[10] The EFF is now registered with the IEC, after an objection to its registration by the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) was dismissed.[11]

High-profile members[edit]

Controversial businessman Kenny Kunene joined the Central Command Team in July 2013 before resigning from the Central Command Team on 20 August 2013 and from the organisation on 26 August 2013.[12][13]

On 4 November 2013 it was announced that Dali Mpofu had formally left the ANC after a 33 year long membership and joined the EFF.[14]

Support base[edit]

According to a November 2013 Ipsos survey, the party's supporters are younger than average, with 49% being younger than 24, overwhelmingly black (99%) and mostly male, with women representing only 33% of the support base. A disproportionate amount of supporters live in Malema's home province of Limpopo (28%), while only 1% live in KwaZulu-Natal, a more populous province.[15]


The ANC has accused the Zimbabwean ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), of supporting the EFF so as to destabilise the ANC.[16]

It has been argued that leading members of the party have a history of sexism.[17][18][19] [20]

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has levelled a number of criticisms at the party including what the union has described as 'Julius Malema’s history as a tenderpreneur' and his 'Economic Freedom Fighters’ military command structure'.[21] There has also been a feminist critique of the party's militarism.[22]

Vuis Khoza, the party's candidate for Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, has a criminal conviction for "his involvement in what was believed to be a xenophobic attack on foreigners at Albert Park [Durban] in December 2009£.[23]

It has been argued, with specific reference to people of Indian origin, that the party's documents "reproduce racial stereotypes".[24]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Red Tide: From 'economic freedom' to 'white genocide', extremism grabs the spotlight (in English)". Daily Maverick. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Economic Freedom Fighters Party reignites debate (in English)". Al Jazeera. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Hundreds gather for EFF launch (in English)". News24. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Seeing red: Malema stalks ANC from left (in English)". The Scotsman. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "In divided S. Africa, anger at new road tolls proves a powerful unifying force (in English)". Alaska Dispatch. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Meggan Saville (12 July 2013). "Malema launches his Economic Freedom Fighters". Dispatch Online. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Setumo Stone (11 July 2013). "Malema takes command of Economic Freedom Fighters". Business Day. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Economic Freedom Fighters. "Central Command Team". Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  10. ^ SAPA (28 July 2013). "EFF readies for election registration as over 1 000 members recruited". The Times. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Verashni Pillay (5 September 2013). "It's official: Malema's EFF is a political party". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Poloko Tau (21 August 2013). "'Sushi King' quits EFF leadership". Independent Online. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  13. ^ SAPA (26 August 2013). "Kunene quits EFF". News24. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  14. ^ November 4, 2013 at 10:21am (2013-11-04). "Dali Mpofu joins EFF - Cape Times". Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  15. ^ "The supporter profiles of SA`s three largest parties". Politicsweb. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  16. ^ Natasha Marrian (29 July 2013). "Mantashe hits out at EFF for 'distorting the Freedom Charter'". Business Day. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  17. ^ Floyd Shivambu: Despicable Me, Sipho Hlongwane, The Daily Maverick, 2012
  18. ^ Remembering Thomas Sankara, the EFF’s muse, Rebecca Davis, The Daily Maverick, 2013
  19. ^ Elections Analysis: The Economic Freedom Fighters, Sonja Bornman, Feminist SA', 2013
  20. ^ EFF: Two senior party officials accused of involvement in 2008 gang rape, Rebecca Davis, The Daily Maverick, 2013
  21. ^ Numsa wary of ‘capitalist’ Malema, By SHANTI ABOOBAKER, Sunday Independent, 29 December 2013
  22. ^ EFF & the Return of the Warrior Citizen, Siphokazi Magadla, Thought Leader, 2013
  23. ^ EFF’s KZN man has criminal past, BHEKI MBANJWA, The Daily News, 2014
  24. ^ The EFF and the Question of National Unity, Duncan, Jane, SACSIS WEBSITE, 29 JAN, 2014

External links[edit]