When they disrupted President Jacob Zuma’s speeches in Parliament multiple times, prompting police officers and army officials masquerading as security guards to throw the Members of Parliament dressed in red overalls out of the National Assembly, the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) were hailed as a breath of fresh air that has been missing in the South African political landscape. Liberals and South Africans in general who felt that the president dissed the rule of law, and in extension the ANC (African National Congress), praised the new political party as the very answer South Africa needed to respond to the laziness, arrogance – maybe in the case of diehard supporters of the People’s Movement – and the cowardly fear of the ruling party. In over two decades of rule at the helm of the democratic government in South Africa, the ANC had become comfortable and arrogant as the incumbent, and less disheartening the organisation that was once celebrated as the ‘government of the masses’ had become rather too soft, and therefore infuriatingly timid in implementing policies that were set to bring about changes in the lives of the black majority of South Africa – the people of Solomon Plaatje who were deliberately dispossessed of their land, minerals and their very sense of being centuries ago when foreigners arrived on our shores.
Thus, the EFF, a political party founded almost five years ago by the former ANC Youth League leaders, Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu, was seen as the hope that would deliver the ‘great masses of our people’ to the promised land decreed by the God of Moses and Joshua. Surprisingly, and suspiciously, the EFF was even praised by people who used to publicly humiliate and vilify Julius Malema – founder and leader of the red berets. Former member of the EFF, Andile Mngxitama, after having been chased out of the party like a dog afflicted with a deadly disease, accused his erstwhile comrades of selling out to white monopoly capital. Of course, as it is the habit of politicians, Mngxitama’s accusations were simply dismissed as unhinged rantings of a disgruntled member. However, the sudden popularity of the EFF – especially its rambunctious president, Malema – with the liberal media that once mocked and caricatured him as an incorrigible idiot who failed woodwork has been a matter of concern for those who pride themselves as mentally gifted. The brief romance seemed rather suspicious and untrustworthy. Time and again, from political exile, Mngxitama would hint again at EFF having sold out, hence the liberal media’s unrestrained flirting with the fighters.
In his piece published on IOL, political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe, observed the following about the thirst by some for a dysfunctional ANC: ‘There is also a fear that the resolutions adopted at the party’s 54th conference, if implemented, are likely to force the party to reclaim its revolutionary status. A divided ANC is necessary to ensure that these resolutions do not see the light of day.’ While this is true for the likes of DA (Democratic Alliance) and their fellow land criminals who would very much like to keep the loot they stole all those years ago, it is not clear as to how a divided ANC benefits the EFF. Power? It could be, but part of me would like to believe that Malema and his red berets are not that short-sighted; after all, the EFF was founded on the principles the ANC abandoned. By establishing the EFF, its founders sought to right the wrongs of the ANC, or so most of us believed.
After the ANC national elective conference hosted at Nasrec, Soweto last year, one could get a sense the EFF is getting desperate. Before the conference, agents masquerading as political analysts, so-called objective journalists and social media commentators opined that the national elective conference would collapse and further divide the ANC. Malema and his band of noisemakers were at the forefront of this absurdity, going far as saying the ANC would be buried by the end of 2017. To the disappointment of these naysayers, the national elective conference went ahead undisrupted – despite issues of votes threatening to tear the party apart – and the ANC elected the new leadership.
Evidently, this didn’t sit well with liberals and Malema’s noisemakers whose relevance relies on a divided ANC as Professor Seepe correctly observed. And while liberals and their divisive media might have been disappointed and defeated – for not only did the conference not collapse, the ANC managed to adopt progressive and sound policies – they hid their embarrassment by pretending that it was business as usual. The EFF on the other hand, whose very existence and relevance is inherently built and grounded on the blunders of the ruling party, appeared to be more disheartened than their publicity benefactors, so much so that they tried to steal the thunder by piggybacking on President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of free education for 2018 first year students. When that puerile stunt failed, the EFF descended on H&M stores, trashing them and upsetting their new-found constituency – liberal media.
In her piece on Daily Maverick, the political analyst Judith February did not hold back in ridiculing the EFF. She said: ‘Apart from this being a successful attention-seeking exercise, one wonders what the EFF has actually achieved in concrete terms?’ February went further in her bashing of the red berets: ‘The EFF is struggling for relevance in a South African political landscape that is shifting fast. The next election is in 2019 and then their strategies will be tested in a campaigning environment in which they will not have Zuma to lambaste as president of the ANC.’ While I disagree with February’s insinuation that by dealing with racism head on, the EFF did not achieve anything, she is correct in observing that the stunt on the part of Malema’s fighters was more a sign of a struggle to stay relevant ‘in a South African political landscape that is shifting fast’ than an ideological urgency to face a racist demon that has haunted and oppressed Africans for ages.
In so much as Judith February’s piece in accosting the EFF might be judged as spot on, at least as far as the red beret’s desperation to stay relevant is concerned, we should not hurry to heap praises upon shoulders of her ilk – liberals. To better convey my point home about why liberals should never be taken seriously and therefore trusted, dear reader, please allow me to summon the dead, for they were wise and intelligent. In one of his historic pieces, Black souls in white skins?, the late Steve Biko made an important observation about the dangers of liberals. This is how Biko prefaces his brilliant article: ‘Basically the South African white community is a homogeneous community. It is a community of people who sit to enjoy a privileged position that they do not deserve, are aware of this, and therefore spend their time trying to justify why they are doing so. Where differences in political opinion exist, they are in the process of trying to justify their position of privilege and their usurpation of power.’
Biko wrote this article in the early 70s, before the racist apartheid government that hated intelligent and independent-minded blacks brutally killed him. Here is the great African in his fine words warning us against humanlike serpents gifted with silver tongues; having defined to us the real South Africa, then and now: ‘But these are not the people we are concerned with. We are concerned with that curious bunch of nonconformists who explain their participation in negative terms: that bunch of do-gooders that goes under all sorts of names – liberals, leftists etc. These are the people who argue that they are not responsible for white racism and the country’s “inhumanity to the black man”. These are the people who claim that they too feel the oppression just as acutely as the blacks and therefore should be jointly involved in the black man’s struggle for a place under the sun. In short, these are the people who say that they have black souls wrapped up in white skins.’
I can forgive the Uncle Tom leader of the DA for pretending as if Biko was not referring to his party and principals in the article I quote from, for his very survival depends on acting as if the black struggle is a myth, but as for the red teletubbies to mistaken liberal media as their ally was rather stupid. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the very same party that claims to be ready to govern. Lord save us all.
In case the EFF have forgotten, white comfort, and its racist economy, gains its power in knowing that as much as the downtrodden complain about their appalling conditions, they understand and know where to toe the line. By trashing the H&M stores countrywide, the EFF broke the rules and therefore deserve to be punished. And how best do you punish an unruly child like the EFF in the modern-day era? You make them look like idiots in the public’s eyes.
It is hard to believe that in such a short period as a citizen of our world, Biko had come to master the ways and modus operandi of the liberals in the way he did. Observe his penetrative mind in this passage: ‘Nowhere is the arrogance of the liberal ideology demonstrated so well as in their insistence that the problems of the country can only be solved by a bilateral approach involving both black and white. This has, by and large, come to be taken in all seriousness as the modus operandi in South Africa by all those who claim they would like a change in the status quo. Hence the multiracial political organisations and parties and the “nonracial” student organisations, all of which insist on integration not only as an end goal but also as a means.’ It has been over forty years since Biko’s tragic death, and the liberals have evolved. They have since hoodwinked more blacks with spines as strong as an ice cream cone into defending their racist agenda. It is no coincidence that both the leader and spokesperson of the DA are black. For a while there Mbali Ntuli, the DA Youth League’s former leader, was the best thing since Black Like Me until she started publicly challenging Madam – Helen Zille – about black struggles. It has been a while since South Africans last saw and heard from the promising Mbali Ntuli. Clearly, she proved to be a ‘cheeky native’ who refused to accept the ‘agenda’.
Ever since the EFF trashed H&M stores throughout the country, Daily Maverick – the website for liberal drivel posing as an objective opinion site – has published three articles written by blacks – including Judith February – short of accusing the red berets of behaving like monkeys. If the ruling party, the ANC, implements all the policies it adopted at its national elective conference last year, it would snuff the air out of the nose of an already struggling EFF, and most importantly, the racist liberals whose agenda rests on dividing Africans. In spite of the EFF’s struggle for relevance, the ball is in the ANC’s court to make Africans proud. Kgotsong!