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EFF names new HQ after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

27 September 2021 - 07:26
Former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, right, with party leader Julius Malema. File photo.
Former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, right, with party leader Julius Malema. File photo.

Struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s family has welcomed the EFF’s decision to name its new headquarters after their mother.

The party unveiled its six-storey head office in central Johannesburg after launching its local government manifesto on Sunday. The event coincided with Madikizela-Mandela’s 85th birthday. The anti-apartheid struggle hero died in April 2018.

Her daughter  Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, who is SAs ambassador to South Korea, attended the unveiling and thanked the EFF for naming its headquarters Winnie Madikizela-Mandela House, saying the party was among the few that continued to honour and embrace her mothers legacy.

“I would like to express how delighted we are as a family that you named your headquarters after my mother. Thank you very much,” said Mandela-Dlamini.

“I flew all the way from the Republic of Korea to come and celebrate my mothers birthday with you, and also to tell you how much we appreciate that the EFF leadership has never and will never forget my mother,” she said.

“Your actions speak directly to why she had so much time and respect for the EFF,” she said.

“You, the EFF, have been one of the few to continue remembering, honouring and embracing the memory of my mother, the mother of the nation, which I and my family acknowledge,” said Mandela-Dlamini.

The EFF launched its 2021 local government elections manifesto in Gandhi Square in the Johannesburg CBD on September 26 2021. The EFF contested elections for the first time in 2014 during the national polls and became the third most popular party in the country. EFF leader Julius Malema addressed his supporters at the launch.

She urged the women of the EFF to continue to fight for the freedom and rights of women in SA.

“Her memory and the way we will remember her lies in every one of us and it is entirely up to us to carry on her legacy.”

Mandela-Dlamini described EFF leader Julius Malema as her younger brother.

Malema enjoyed a close relationship with Madikizela-Mandela which continued long after he was expelled from the ANC and formed the EFF.

Mandela-Dlamini said she came from a family that did not discard its friends because they joined other parties or started new political parties or movements.

“I come from a family where we are all-embracing and love everybody,” she said, obviously in reference to the continued close relationship with Malema despite him no longer being an ANC member.

EFF treasurer-general Omphile Maotwe told TimesLIVE the building had six floors and they were all occupied.

“It’s an existing building that we purchased and revamped. We took a bond with a bank. We were renting in Braamfontein but we needed to purchase our own building,” she said.

Malema said the decision to have their own offices was a demonstration the EFF was here to stay and not a fly by night organisation.

“We have our own offices because we appreciate that an organisation like the EFF, the fastest growing political organisation in SA and a government in waiting, must have and demonstrate administrative capacity,” he said.