THE recent trip to Britain by the EFF, led by their commander in chief, Julius Malema, is a very interesting development in our politics and people were always going to talk. Social media was abuzz for a while when pictures of Malema, Advocate Dali Mpofu and the EFF’s deputy commander in chief, Floyd Shivambu, appeared with a group of white males and seemed to be in a rather jolly mood.
That was a very interesting picture and reminded me of the pictures of the comrades just before and after Nelson Mandela was released from jail. It really did look like a picture of base and their clever blacks reaching an agreement to benefit both, but obviously with the baas still reigning supreme while the black man is called closer but watchfully so.
So, is the EFF off to Britain to sell this country to the highest bidder, as some suggested in social networks? The EFF and its leaders have been named, mocked and cursed thanks to their trip to the UK where the young leaders of the ever growing party even addressed Oxford University students. Yes, Oxford, that Oxford.
Others have said that the EFF is on some sort of mission for money to the “imperialists” who rule this world by controlling those with power or who influence decisions. But if you look closely here the EFF is doing nothing really new as the ruling party did the same immediately after we got our hard-fought- for democracy.
The ANC then had a story to tell, a fairy tale story to tell and it was all good and no one judged it. Today, however, that story has turned out somewhat badly and the ANC doesn’t have a story to tell anymore.
Enter the newbie, enter the EFF with its sometimes over-confident policies and now its leaders are the ones who the world is keen on listening to and now the tables are turning. Of course, by the EFF going to Britain others can construe it as another form of going back to the colonial powers for advice or to get attention from them.
But this can also mean that we are going back to the basics, and we want to tell the world of the new ideas and the way forward as South Africans. It may have been the EFF there, but it may be conveying the views of many South Africans who were sold a dream that came to nothing.
It’s 21 years later and the dream that we were sold as South Africans is fast becoming a nightmare and maybe we need to reboot, dream afresh. This move also comes at the time when the local government elections are just around the corner and the EFF may also have been there to interest investors so that it can get money to fund the party.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The ruling party itself has countries or people it partners with for those very purposes and there’s certainly nothing new or wrong about what the EFF may be up to.
And because as a country we interested so many countries, especially the powerful Western countries, as to how we ascended from an almost civil war to a peaceful transition while managing to remain Africa’s economic hub. People are willing to know what really went wrong.
Why is the formerly powerful ANC suddenly being opposed from within the black community and why are people like Malema giving the ruling party such a headache?
Today the ANC hasn’t only deserted the millions of South Africans who are poor, unemployed and some destitute, but has also deserted the international community that is surprised that the country it thought would flourish under the continent’s oldest revolutionary party is not doing so well after all. It wants to know what happened and how can this be reversed, and that’s where Malema and his learned lieutenants come in.
These are the people who have answers to give to the international community because they say they can be the answer to the South African dilemma. The ANC doesn’t have answers, hence it’s quiet.
Some people may just be fascinated by Malema and his ideas, but the reality is that he’s here to be counted and the people are listening, hence his party keeps growing and becoming more relevant to people within and outside the country.