We need more than fire, brimstone and funky red berets

2014-07-23 10:49

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) rocketed into Parliament and the country’s provincial legislatures on a ticket of revolution, evolution and genuine social change.

Now they’re fighting about clothes.

The fighters’ insistence on wearing red overalls and domestic workers’ outfits has given their opponents yet another stick to beat them with.

This isn’t a battle fought in the streets; it’s a matter of protocol, used by the ANC in places like the Gauteng legislature to neutralise the country’s third-largest political party in terms of votes.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to change dress codes. A caller to talk radio reminded me that Nelson Mandela’s colourful shirts, worn sans tie, were the subject of much consternation – and debate – when he became president.

But why can’t the EFF bite the sartorial bullet for a little while? Stick to the dress code, roll up their shirt and blouse sleeves, and debate the really important stuff that captured so many South Africans’ imaginations.

Get us talking in the halls of power about land reform, economic parity and job creation. Then, when the conversations are well under way, table a motion before the various legislatures to discuss the dress code.

Clothes certainly maketh the man (and woman) – but we need more than fire, brimstone and funky red berets if we’re going to change South Africa for the better.

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