We’re not imagining it: cracks appearing in EFF

CONTROL TEAM:  Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema listens during an interview at his office in Braamfontein in Johannesburg  yesterday. The EFF has sent an intervention team to the Eastern Cape Picture: PETER MOGAKI -
CONTROL TEAM: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema listens during an interview at his office in Braamfontein in Johannesburg yesterday. The EFF has sent an intervention team to the Eastern Cape Picture: PETER MOGAKI –

Julius Malema may never go back to the party that made and broke him, but it is a fact that all is not that rosy where red berets and overalls rule.

The media, like in the misleading report of implosion by one daily national newspaper, may be a bit melodramatic about what is actually happening at the EFF.

However the reality is that there are cracks, and that party needs to look deep at itself and stop being defensive. That is exactly what caused the Congress of the People (COPE) to perish.

The EFF needs an introspective mindset instead of a defensive one that seeks to portray everyone as nothing short of haters. This party accidentally but unfortunately faces the same fate that parties like COPE faced.

They started like a house on fire before almost being extinguished without any possibility of coming back strongly and contributing to our democracy. The EFF is a very necessary political movement and losing it at this stage will be detrimental for our country going forward.

The ruling party has never been so under pressure in all its 21 years in power and its sense of comfort was fast making it a party that had no respect for the people of this countr y.

When the EFF came about it was at a ripe time in our politics because things were going really badly with the ANC almost certain of actually ruling until the arrival of Jesus Christ, according to he with a lot of thatched houses in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The reality of our times is that we really need a stronger, more radical and sometimes tjatjarag (over-excited) opposition.

We all know that the rest of the opposition failed on that as it was easy for the ruling party to bully them.

Julius Malema and his following commanders and commissars need to realise that they mostly, if not entirely, come from a family (the ANC) that is well known for its divisive nature and unfortunate conduct. As the old saying goes, “old habits die hard, if at all”.

If these rifts in the EFF go undetected or are deliberately ignored by those in power they will soon learn the hard way.

It is obvious that Biko-Lite Andile Mngxitama is not seeing eye to eye with his fellow leaders. This alone is problematic because when the rot is coming from the top, we know we have some really serious problems right there. This also makes it rather uncomfortable for the followers, the supporters and those who rallied behind the EFF when it started. More than a million people gave their vote to the EFF when they could have voted for the ANC, which most always voted for previously.

They voted for the EFF not because they had so little faith in the ruling party, but mostly because they believed in the policies of this new and vibrant movement. The EFF should never take that for granted because it will die a very slow death.

It may not be any time soon but it is very likely to happen and it won’t be pretty. The people of this country can at any time switch allegiance and go back to their former political homes.

We have seen this happen over and over again. One hopes it is not the case with the EFF because besides its fun nature as a political party in parliament, it is really a force to be reckoned with and deserves to have an ever greater voice in the National Assembly. We do not just want to see the EFF chanting slogans, going for the man and ignoring the real issues that are bothering South Africa.

We need to see the EFF winning wards that were predominantly ANC or DA, or any other political party for that matter. For our democracy to mature even more and to greater heights, we need an EFF that is united and respectful towards other political parties and the people who put them in power.

History will judge the EFF and its leaders very harshly when one day they fail on the mandate they received when it all started. The EFF has always been that idea that couldn’t be stopped because its time had come.

But then this can also be its downfall because the biggest opponent of the EFF is not the ANC, the DA or any other party, but rather the EFF itself.

It is also the EFF that can make sure that an implosion never happens and that the rifts can be mended before they go too far. Egos need to be put aside if this idea is to be carried all the way through.


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