A sceptic’s ramblings on the newly formed EFF

The youth is jubilant about the new developments in the country’s political landscape and the media too can hardly conceal their excitement. Those whose careers in journalism are waning will be relieved to know that the ‘copy and paste’ button will once again come in handy when they have come to prowl the Internet for opinions imparted on social media. And political analysts like ‘police cuts’ are back in fashion. But I am not quite sure if Luthuli House shares the same enthusiasm that looks to have engulfed the country. The ‘honourable’ reverend from Nkandla, white farmers and investors will definitely not receive this news with equal exuberance as the rest of the masses. Those who always threaten to leave South Africa for Australia will suddenly be vocal about how unhappy they are with the day-to-day business in the country. The only polite thing to do is wish them a safe trip.

If you are smart you would probably know what I am hinting at when I speak of new developments in our political landscape; but if you did not don’t despair, I am sure you will catch up. I am of course referring to the prodigal son Julius Malema. He is back. Some may argue that he never went anywhere; yes that might be true considering what recently transpired. Comrade Juju has had to take a painful financial lashing from SARS. His incomplete mansion in Sandton and a cabbage farm in Limpopo had to go under the hammer to appease the taxman. For all that time he was, for a lack of better word, a political hobo since his ousting as the president of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL). But now Malema is back in the political arena and he is not alone. Technically he was never alone; his wingman has always been there with him but I am digressing. Juju is here and he is backed by the newly formed organisation called Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF); and he is its leader, or rather Commander-In-Chief. It is yet to be decided if this organisation will registered as a political party to contest in 2014’s national elections. I too, am yet to decide if I should become an Economic Freedom Fighter.

One would remember multiple warnings that were issued to the ANC leadership by political analysts against expelling the former youth league leader from the once respected movement of Maphikela and Plaatjie. Now President Jacob Zuma and his comrades at Luthuli House will be disappointed to learn that the ideas that were espoused by the former youth league leader and his fellow young lions during their hey days in the ANCYL leadership are at the core of the formation of the Economic Freedom Fighters. Nationalisation of key economic sectors and expropriation of land with no compensation are the founding principles of the EFF. Allow me to clarify a growing problem that for now looks like a minor headache that might disappear after a short while but has clear signs of graduating into a major migraine for the ruling party during next year’s elections. Unemployment rate is at an astounding 25% in a resource wealthy country like South Africa and over 50% of those are young people. With the youth comprising 70% of South Africa’s population, statements like ‘nationalisation of mines and banks’ and ‘the land will be returned to its rightful owners’ are obviously enticing to a desperate youth. And with the ANC caught up in defending their controversial and scandalous president; who took it upon himself to withdraw from the taxpayer’s purse to finance the building of a private African styled hotel in the rural Nkandla, the ruling party may just be substituted in next year’s elections. Let us not forget that the ‘honourable’ reverend too, has countless charges hanging on his head.

Although EFF’s rhetoric might be appealing to the disgruntled, the hopeless and the wounded; someone in the corner might ask that all important question. One that will certainly annoy the leadership of the newly formed organisation and its followers: ‘Who is to say that the EFF leadership will renounce their old ways given their sordid history?’ Indeed that is a question we all have to ask before we blindly associate ourselves with the Economic Freedom Fighters. During his days as the ANC youth league president, numerous corruption accusations were leveled against Julius Malema but because he was under the protective arm of the ruling party nothing came off these alleged charges. Not so long ago former general secretary of the ANC youth league and ‘through thick and thin’ ally of the Commander-In-Chief Floyd Shivambu found himself in hot water for calling female journalists names that for the sake of our emotional economy I will not dare mention. Our memories are short but I am willing to bet that you have not forgotten this one: The former sushi king Kenny Kunene devouring sushi on top of naked women and publicly announcing on national television that unlike other men who sneak around behind their partners’ back, he is man enough not to hide his ‘ways’. But then again, who I am to judge these men? They claim to have repented.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am neither a saint nor a paragon of morality. I am just a skeptic who happened to put his ramblings on paper. As a patriot and a caring member of this society I had to share this with you. Now I am off to decide whether I should don the red beret and join the Commander-In-Chief or sit down and entertain my brain with those beverages that undermine sobriety. Kgotsong!

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