Based on his party’s place as a socialist movement that exists within a long and tradition and culture of leftism, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema stated that his organisation drew inspiration from Cuba.
Additionally, he said the EFF and Cuba share a socialist perspective to governance and view it as one that is able to withstand pressure and victimisation from what he called “repressive global capitalist forces.”
“It is from Cuba that we draw inspiration, that the socialist perspective to governance is one that is truly morally and ethically superior to capitalism, and one is determined, it is a perspective that can withstand the most hostile capitalist environment,” he said during his lengthy political report on the second day of the party’s elective conference at Nasrec.
He went on to speak at length about the model of Cuba’s economy – one that he admires as a sustainable and functional socialist state and has made progressive strides in giving dignity to its people.
“It is a society governed in the interest of the people, one that is self-sustaining and thriving without the exploitative hand of capitalism, As a model for a socialist and independent state.”
Malema advocated for the country to fashion its policies and legislative interventions with Cuba in mind – with a particular view on ensuring that state capacity is built for us “to not be dependent on the loans of the west as this comes at the expense of our sovereignty.”
Political analyst Professor Somadoda Fikeni said a good working relationship among left-leaning organisation can yield positive results.
“We are already seeing collaboration among unions, because of the material in the reality of work conditions has made it unavoidable to not collaborate at a certain level, but at an ideological political level. I don’t think there is readiness because the left doesn’t take time conceptualising what other options will be. They are still hanging on to Marxist Lenin’s ideology without necessarily saying how do we respond to the current state of affairs and revise the tool that you had,” explained Fikeni.
His sentiments were echoed by Tshwane University of Technology-based Political Analyst Levy Ndou who said a good relationship between formidable left-wingers is possible yet difficult as some are affiliated with the ruling party.
Ndou was reflecting on the way the conference was well organised in addition to the main tenets of the political report delivered by the CIC.
According to Ndou, Malema’s strong personality and popularity have so far been the biggest selling points for the party. As a result, his ability to instil a sense of discipline among fighters and the ideas he proposes are considered.
“We need to look at the membership in the South African Communist Party ( SACP), most people that are in SACP are members of the African National Congress (ANC). What we see in SACP is a duplication of the same people and they participate in the election processes in the ANC and ideologically Numsa and EFF are socialist parties that can successfully form a left-wing,” said Ndou.