The EFF has thrown down the gauntlet, declaring its readiness to govern. Benzi Ka-Soko ponders whether the party is fit purpose as a government-in-waiting.
The EFF has openly declared that it is ready to topple the ANC from the echelons of state political power.
This bold stance has was taken by the party during its second national people’s assembly in Nasrec, Soweto. Coincidentally, this is the same venue where the ANC held its national conference in December 2017.
Delivering the presidential political report, EFF leader Julius Malema lambasted rank and file members for laziness in political mobilisation, education and organising, which are imperative for the numerical growth of the organisation.
This political chastisement should be viewed as political agitation and radicalisation, preparing EFF members to unleash the final push that will eventually unseat the governing ANC from the levers of state power.
Indeed, the EFF can unseat the ANC if it swells its ranks and significantly increases the number of its supporters and sympathisers, thereby changing the complexion of its electoral muscle.
In its current form the EFF cannot defeat the ANC, which is ostensibly powerful, electorally speaking. As a matter of fact, the ANC still enjoys the massive support of the overall constituency.
For the EFF to ascend the podium of state power, it ought to work hard on the ground to improve its voting might.
Malema has strategically extended an olive branch to all left-wing organisations and formations to unite with the EFF in pursuit of the usurpation of state power. This clarion call has a potential to galvanise all socialist-oriented forces into a powerful voting bloc, provided that it is openly welcomed and accepted by all in the leftist movement.
It is therefore incumbent upon socialist organisations to grab this golden opportunity and work as a collective of political mobilisation and political agitation, which may eventually make them a credible alternative to the ANC. Whether this olive branch will be accepted remains to be seen.
Malema has also declared with bold confidence that the EFF should go all out in its revolutionary quest to take over the reigns in municipalities across the country, with particular focus on the metros, namely Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.
The EFF has presented itself as a government-in-waiting, ready to unleash a devastating blow to the ANC. It has resolved to unleash a war against the ANC-led government, which it has accused of planning to sell state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to the white monopoly capital of the Johann Ruperts and Nicky Oppenheimers through privatisation.
The EFF has also resolved to take the war to the financial sector and the banking system, which it has accused of financial apartheid through discriminatory practices that exclude black people from participating in the mainstream of the economy.
More fundamentally, Malema has given clear marching orders to all EFF branches across the country to paint their towns, cities, townships and villages red through aggressive political organising and mobilisation.
The party’s critical stance on the land question has placed the EFF on the pedestal as it masterfully articulates this emotive issue with more ideological clarity, philosophical/historical vividity and political zealotry never seen before in post-apartheid South Africa.
Mastering articulation of the land question by the EFF has made the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) look like a political tabula rasa. They have deservedly boasted that the Expropriation Bill is their brainchild and to this effect, they run the parliamentary committee dealing with section 25 of the Constitution and all its manifestations.
Interestingly, President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned that unless the land question is resolved, South Africa will not be totally and genuinely free, and that all the efforts aimed at reconciliation and social cohesion will amount to nought.
For the uninitiated, please note that the land question is placed as cardinal pillar number one in the EFF’s foundational policy documents.
Love or hate it, the EFF has introduced a new way of politics in the body politic of South Africa. Through its grand entrance in the political arena, it made South Africans watch parliamentary debates, forcing MPs on their toes as opposed to the lala land that our Parliament had notoriously become. No MP dared to doze off for fear of being televised live in deep snoring.
The EFF has managed to give the ANC a run for its money by engaging the latter in robust debates never seen before in parliamentary debates, notwithstanding the comical gymnastics and clownish theatrics that accompanied all the spectacles.
At the end of the day, the EFF does matter; those who say otherwise have been living under a rock.
The call for the EFF to become a force to be reckoned with on a continental scale will definitely send shivers down the spines of dictatorial and authoritarian regimes across Africa, especially to the tin-pot dictators and military juntas
Through this radical call, the EFF models itself as the custodian of pan-Africanism and African unity with the purpose of pursuing the dream to establish a United States of Africa as marshalled by early pan-Africanists such as Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Ture, Robert Sobukwe, Thomas Sankara and many others.
In his closing remarks, Malema announced that in the next five years the party would build a state-of-the-art school that will cater for children from the poorest communities. He challenged black billionaires to build such schools in poor communities as a way of giving back to the communities in which they grew up.
Malema further mentioned that as leaders of this century, black billionaires have a responsibility to ensure that they continuously influence the policy discourse of this country and to argue for the introduction and implementation of radical, pro-poor policies to obliterate the current two-nation economy which favours the rich and defecates on the face of the poor masses.
But more critically, he argued that the leaders of the country must introduce and enforce a new attitude on young people to love education and excellence so that they do not become the wretched masses of the 21st century or end up getting positions in government through political favours, a phenomenon that will eventually collapse our municipalities and all government institutions as evidenced through the shenanigans at Eskom, SAA, Denel, Transnet and other SOEs.
• Benzi Ka-Soko is a discourse influencer and an independent political analyst