In a rather bizarre move, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on its rival Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to keep its manifesto launch to no more than 500 supporters.
The EFF's manifesto launch event is expected to be held at Johannesburg’s Ghandi Square on Sunday and the party said it expected no less than 20 000 members in what it's dubbed the “festival of the working class” .
The DA’s manifesto launch will be held virtually and its Parliamentary Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone, penned a statement in which she said she was reminding the red berets to keep attendance to under 500 people.
Mazzone said the DA’s call was aimed to specifically warn the EFF leader, Julius Malema, that his party hosting more than 500 people would be illegal.
“The DA reminds the EFF that any attendance in excess of 500 people outdoors will be illegal. We say specifically to Mr Malema: You cannot hold an illegal rally in this election, and the legal limit is 500 persons,” said Mazzone.
“The rules of lockdown by which we are all forced to live have seen devastating abuses of power by the ANC government, leading to losses of life, serious assaults, victimization and destruction of the economy – but, there cannot be one set of rules for all citizens and another for the EFF. Therefore, at Sunday’s event, 500 people maximum shall be allowed, or the entire event will be illegal,” Mazzone said.
The DA said if allowed to continue with large attendance the EFF event would undermine the freeness and fairness of the election, and would open the door to the EFF being barred from contesting the 1 November poll.
Yesterday Action SA, led by former DA Joburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, held a manifesto launch and there was no complaint from the official opposition nor law enforcement agencies.
The EFF previously pushed for a postponement of the election, arguing that parties could not compete when their campaigns were restricted by lockdown. But after failing in this regard, the party vowed to go all out withbis campaigns.
“So, we are going to work. We are not working with lockdowns. We are back to work. This weekend, all our outstanding regions are going to hold their RPAs. No policeman, no minister, no one can tell us not to hold our RPAs.
"We are busy. We are not going to listen to fools. We have no time for fools who don’t know what they are doing. This government doesn’t know what it’s doing,” said Malema during a recent press conference.
In preparation for the manifesto launch, EFF leaders have been in various parts of the country addressing communities, often in their thousands.