Nokuthula Sonile
2 minute read
7 Nov 2013
8:00 am

EFF – or a fashion statement?

Nokuthula Sonile

It is worth noting how the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) seems to be growing in popularity. The red berets are everywhere.

I wonder if people who wear them are EFF members or if they are just ecstatic over the berets and wear them as a fashion statement.

EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema must be smiling at the way some people seem to be pledging support to him and his party. For a man who was being written off as a political failure, he is taking tiny steps towards having a seat in Parliament.

Interestingly, Dali Mpofu has dumped the African National Congress (ANC) and joined the EFF. Mpofu told City Press he is leaving because “internal paralysis in the ANC is such that it is a question of time before it renders itself irrelevant to the broader revolution”.

It sounds like after being in the ANC for 33 years, Mpofu wants to be an economic freedom fighter.

During a visit to South Africa in August, the vice-president for international programmes at the US-based non-profit Atlas Economic Research Foundation based, Tom Palmer, said the policies outlined in the EFF manifesto “could lead South Africa into famine”. He criticised the principles the EFF will use to bring about economic emancipation, such as expropriation of land without compensation.

At the end of the day all political parties have their weaknesses. For example, the ANC enjoys the loyalty of people who will still vote for the party in 2014 elections all because the party played a big part in ushering in a new South Africa.

Almost 20 years later many South Africans are yet to benefit from Black Economic Empowerment and live in dignified homes. To be fair, the ANC has been tried and tested; people may vote for it because they have known no other party as long.

The Democratic Alliance is full of uncertainties. Helen Zille was the face of the party; if she resigns will people have the same confidence in her successor?

The EFF on the other hand is a party one has to approach with care. After a failed political career as ANCYL president, Malema is trying to convince South Africans that the EFF is the best ship to jump on to after two decades of waiting for the ANC to change people’s lives for the better.