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Julius Malema party to fight SA poll

By // News
5 September 2013 Last updated at 16:19 GMT

South Africa's former African National Congress Youth League leader, Julius Malema, has registered a political party to contest next year's elections.

The party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, will seek to redistribute land and nationalise South Africa's rich mines, he said.

He launched the EFF in July but did not say whether it would take part in the 2014 poll.

Mr Malema was expelled from the governing ANC in 2012 for indiscipline.

He also faces corruption charges, which he says are politically motivated.

'Oppressed'

Mr Malema described the launch of his party as "the beginning of [a] real radical, militant and decisive political programme which will lead to real emancipation of the people of South Africa, Africa and the world", the South African Press Association quotes him as saying.

"The oppressed and exploited people of the world should now expect real anti-imperialist actions and political programmes which will practically and programmatically undermine neo-liberalism and global capitalism."

As well as redistributing land and nationalising the mines, he promised to provide free, quality education, healthcare and sanitation.

BBC South Africa analyst Farouk Chothia says Mr Malema is popular, especially with the young and the poor, but it is not clear whether he will be able to set up a nationwide party, capable of grass-roots campaigning and mobilising voters.

Once a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, Mr Malema has become one of his strongest critics and campaigned for his removal from office at the ANC's national conference in December 2012.

He has accused the president of not doing enough to help the poor black voters who had helped to elect him.

The ANC has a huge majority in parliament and has governed since the end of white minority rule in 1994.

But analysts say that increasing numbers of South Africans are losing faith in the party, accusing it of corruption and failing to improve the lives of ordinary people.

South Africa is the continent's biggest economy, largely based on its mineral wealth, but it has experienced sluggish growth in recent years.

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