South Africa 19.5.2014 09:00 am

EFF MP-in-waiting has a radical agenda

FILE PICTURE: Mbuyiseni Ndlozi from the EFF speaks to the Citizen  in Braamfiontein, 14 May 2014. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

FILE PICTURE: Mbuyiseni Ndlozi from the EFF speaks to the Citizen in Braamfiontein, 14 May 2014. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

He doesn’t look like a politician and there’s no red beret on his head. He looks like a well-dressed university lecturer when we meet at a coffee shop in Braamfontein.

The 29-year-old walked over, introduced himself and flashed a confident smile. “So, what’s your first question?”

Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is the spokesperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters party (EFF). He will be one of the 25 EFF representatives in Parliament.

The party surprised many in the recent elections, winning 6.35% of the votes. Within eight months, the EFF had risen to third place behind the Democratic Alliance’s 22%.

The EFF proposes nationalisation and land redistribution without compensation.

Ndlozi defends these ideas, saying radical change that will be-nefit the majority in the country is needed.

He is the eldest of three children who were raised by their single mother and grandmother. He is doing a PhD in political sociology, focusing on black youth involvement in politics in South Africa.

“I was about eight when I became politically aware … police came to arrest my uncle who was involved in the struggle. They beat him up and dragged him out of our house,” he said.

The same uncle cautioned him about leaving the ANC, but Ndlozi says he was tired of the party’s pursuit of “the liberal agenda”.

“The ANC has been emptied of the ability to pursue a revolutionary agenda. It doesn’t have the capacity to,” he said.

He adds that he is grateful to the struggle heroes and the ANC, but felt his time was wasted discussing positions within the party’s ranks.

“You no longer have the type of political activism that put the people first … that put the struggle first. The left agenda gets crushed.”

Ndlozi is unlike many of his comrades who call for radical change but don’t elaborate on how to bring about these changes and what the challenges will be. He says he is convinced of the EFF’s mission and that Julius Malema is the man to lead their revolution.

“Obama doesn’t have a degree in engineering. Verwoerd didn’t have a degree in engineering.

“You need to inspire people. Julius does that and he is a good mobiliser and skilled organiser,” he said.

He adds that his commander-in-chief is one of the hardest working politicians he has come across – and he is smart. “Some politicians speak loudly but they are lazy. He isn’t,” Ndlozi said.

The EFF announced earlier that they would go to Parliament next week dressed as miners and domestic workers.

“Parliament is a representation of the people. We want the people to look at Parliament and recognise themselves,” Ndlozi explains.

He admitted that they do want to disrupt the decorum of Parliament by doing this.

Asked how they would react if they are prevented from entering Parliament, he says: “We will cross that bridge when we get there but we are going.”

Aside from serving in Parliament, Ndlozi wants to finish his PhD, write a book on black youth politics and teach. “I’m not content if I’m not part of solving the existential problems … I have to be part of the historic liberation of black people in Africa. I have ideas, I have something to say.”

 

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