New party has a spring in its step
What do you call a militant beret-wearing politician parading around the political circuit as he claims to be fighting for economic freedom?
Julius Malema has already been criticised for alleged his stupidity and aggressively destructive tongue. His actions speak volumes louder than the average politician’s as he ‘charms’ his way in and out of some of the biggest political scandals to have ever hit South Africa.
Malema is the founder of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which he and his allies established in July 2013.
It took the EFF less than three months to become ‘big news’ when Malema’s biggest financial contributor resigned from the EFF. It was speculated that Kenny Kunene resigned due to the public’s refusal to join the EFF because of his reputation. Kunene was viewed by some potential EFF members as ‘smacking the poor across the face’ by boasting about spending hundreds of thousands of rands on extravagant parties, expensive alcohol, clothes and cars.
Can a man with an obvious military agenda and evident hate against whites lead a country as democratic as South Africa? We think not. Or maybe South Africa is not as democratic as we would like to believe.
As Malema awaits his trial for money laundering and fraud charges, he easily gets accepted back into politics. However, the EFF is still in its early days and (unshockingly) President Jacob Zuma has already expressed that he believes Julius Malema is the next president and will do well in the future. Although there is a lot of scrutiny of the Economic Freedom Fighters from the public and other political parties, mainly because fear plays a very big part in South African politics, their objectives will always be to pursue the struggle for economic emancipation.
We believe that the charges will dampen Malema’s chances of making it big this year.
On the other hand, they may have the opposite effect and make him the favourite for the 2014 elections. This will of course only happen if he ‘keeps his nose clean’ and stays true to changing our country’s dynamic for the better.
Malema is quite popular despite the negativity surrounding him. He is witty and charming when it comes to politics and is a skilled politician who has made mistakes and stands trial for them, proving that the constitution is above no-one.
In the past, Malema successfully led many marches against post-Apartheid laws and has been a prominent activist for the African National Congress (ANC) up until his expulsion and the loss of his title as leader of the ANC Youth League in April 2013.
Now Malema intends to associate with the protest movement in South Africa with great determination and consistency and will join in struggles that defy what he sees as unjust laws. He can unite groups of people with his enchanting motivational speeches. He can ignite and fuel the fire of fury and cause riots, toying-toying and strikes as easily as lighting a cigarette.
The EFF states that South Africa remains a deeply unequal society, especially in relation to socio-economic conditions, and they are absolutely right. But it goes both ways. Our perception of inequality is still clouded by the colour of one’s skin. We’re not saying who is wrong and who is right, because every political party has its faults and its strong points, but there is definitely a hint of Apartheid still in our midst.
Unfortunately, the organisations started after 1994 that aim to help reconcile families affected by Apartheid can only do so much and some families not have yet gotten the justice they feel they deserve. No, we’re not saying there is a revolution of bandits upon us, but just that sometimes scars are too deep to be healed.
This sounds like a conspiracy theory but if you take a closer look at some politicians’ actions and speeches, you can see their honest reactions to certain events and people, whether in the past or present and whether young or old respectively.
Under the watch of the ANC government, corruption has proliferated, service delivery has declined and quality of services, especially to the poor, has deteriorated. The persistent inequality perpetuated by failed policies of Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment has to be remedied… but this must be done in the context of the Constitution. It is clear that the ANC has not delivered on its promises.
For example, Zuma has promised to create five million jobs but the Democratic Alliance claims: “There are more unemployed South Africans today than there has ever been in the history of this labour force survey, which started in 2008.”
That is exactly why Malema must take care to deliver on the promises he makes.
Freedom Front Plus Chairman, Pieter Groenewald said: “The EFF propagates the nationalisation of land, mines, banks and other assets without compensation and in particular on a racial basis. It is unconstitutional.”
We give Julius Malema props for creating a whole new political party, just months before the country’s elections. It takes a lot of courage to do what he is doing right now, but we think that he is starting a political party for the wrong reasons.
It could be that Malema started the EFF just to fight against the ANC for his own personal vendetta, but that is only speculation. Malema has many followers and fans and knows how to persuade the public, so the EFF will likely get an ‘appropriate’ percentage of votes, which is a good start for his fresh political party.
Galiema Williams and Jody Fortuin