Several disgruntled members of the Economic Freedom Fighters have left the party to form a group called The New Economic Freedom Front.
“It was started on August 29. We are receiving phone calls daily from EFF members from all over the country who are unhappy and want to join us,” a former EFF regional co-ordinator Wonder Sentimile told Sapa in a telephone interview.
“We have not yet verified the number of members we have, but it is growing daily.”
Sentimile, who was the EFF’s Thabo Mofutsanyana district co-ordinator in the Free State, would lead the new party until its structures had been formed and an elective conference held.
Sentimile said he left the EFF early in August because its leaders were “liars and hypocrites who stole the votes of the poor masses”.
“They lied to members and the poor people,” he said.
EFF members had agreed before the May general election that they would not take anything from government.
“Immediately after the election, they received everything from government — air tickets, accommodation, money in Parliament,” said Sentimile.
“We were not supposed to take from government. We have people who are suffering. They lied to members and the poor people. They have stolen the votes of the poor masses of our people.”
Further to this, Sentimile said he was not happy with the “practices” of the EFF.
“Every meeting you attend in the EFF, there is no platform to enquire about any decisions being made. I have spoken to them several times –[EFF leader] Julius Malema, [Chief Whip] Floyd Shivambu, etc. They say if you are not satisfied with the decisions they are making you can leave the organisation.”
Before Sentimile left the party, he was suspended.
“They suspended me without a hearing. They did not have a reason. They say I violated their constitution.”
A month before Sentimile’s suspension, he had written a letter to Malema over the EFF’s “unjust practices”.
In August, Sentimile decided it was time to leave as he was unhappy.
He said his new party had a different approach to the EFF policy on expropriation of land.
“We won’t ignore the fact that white people had taken the land, and in taking it they became the custodians of the land,” he said.
“We need the land, but we need to appreciate whatever they have done for the upliftment of South Africa and in sustaining the country and the land.
“The type of appreciation we are talking about is a compensation for them. We are not going to be ignorant. We can’t just take the land without compensation. We can’t ignore how they [white people] helped with the land.”
He said The New Economic Freedom Front would be a national political party.
“We are busy right now campaigning and are busy with our website.”
Malema and EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.