By Lizeka Tandwa
The EFF is struggling to gain leverage with the female voter, its leader Julius Malema said on Tuesday.
Malema was speaking to journalists during his visit to the party’s stand at the Rand Show at Nasrec.
He said although the party had worked on some “very progressive” policy positions to attract the female vote, it was struggling to gain traction.
He added that the party had even taken a 50% “zebra approach” in its deployment to Parliament which meant the party had progressed towards gender parity.
“Someone says our articulation, especially the posture we take when we speak, is masculine. That is why it’s not attractive, I don’t know… It’s something that we are navigating through and we are trying to learn as to what is the problem with the female voter when it comes to the EFF,” Malema said.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) recorded 55% of women had registered to vote for this year’s elections. Of the 26 million registered voters, women make up the larger majority with 14.7 million registered against 12 million male voters.
Malema said the party was conducting its own internal research to assess their failure to attract the female vote.
He added that the party has received resounding support from the elderly during its campaign trail.
Although the party was confident of the youth vote, he was surprised to see the increased support for the party from the elderly, he said.
“When I conducted a door to door (visit), 99% of the people conducting door to door [with me] were pensioners. I was like: ‘Where does this come from?’ Ordinarily our base is young people but there [are] also old people, it’s shocking us…”
Malema came under fire when he shared female veteran journalist Karima Brown’s cellphone number on Twitter. This led to several of his supporters allegedly sending Brown rape threats and text messages intimidating her.
After Malema refused to remove the tweet, Brown lodged a complaint with the IEC. Malema later apologised during a news conference.
Meanwhile, at least 5000 women supporters of the EFF took part in a march against gender based violence last week. The march trended on social media with users complaining that there had been no media coverage of the event.