The top six officials of the Economic Freedom Fighters saw major change on Saturday night at Nasrec in Johannesburg with four new faces sweeping into what the party calls its Central Command team.
Leader Julius Malema was elected to another term as president, unopposed, with Floyd Shivambu still his deputy. He was challenged by former chairperson Advocate Dali Mpofu, who however did not reach the threshold of nominations to stand.
The new national chairperson is Veronica Mente, replacing Mpofu.
The new secretary-general is Marshall Dlamini, replacing Godrich Gardee. It was a position also contested by Mandisa Mashego, but Dlamini was understood to be Malema’s first choice.
His deputy is Poppy Mailola, replacing Octavia Mkhaliphi.
The new treasurer-general is Omphile Maotwe. Precedecesor Leigh-Anne Mathys declined to stand for re-election.
The party is holding its second National People’s Assembly. Its leadership structure is modelled on one similar to the ANC’s, and terms are also five years.
After its first elective conference in Bloemfontein the result was marred by some members decrying the results and quitting the party.
The party’s elective conference got off to a dramatic start from the first day of registration on Friday, as issues around media freedom arose after certain publications were not accredited to cover it.
There have also been reports of the exorbitant amounts that the party said it would be spending on the conference. Almost R32m has been spent on the conference, to give delegates from across the country VIP treatment, Mathys told journalists on Friday during the first media briefing.
Speaking on the costs, Malema said the R32m was not an exact amount: “It can be more, it can be less.”
He said guests in the Business Lounge had contributed money towards the conference, adding that the social evening, to be held on Sunday evening, was being funded by money raised from guests in the business lounge.
“Maybe there will be some change, and the new leadership will see what we do[with it],” he said.
The plenary is also expected to discuss and adopt the party’s constitution.