Ralph Mathekga

Ralph Mathekga | One word that sums up the EFF conference: Escalate

2019-12-17 12:04
Re-elected EFF leader Julius Malema. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Re-elected EFF leader Julius Malema. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

In the end, there is a new script that was written for the EFF in Nasrec,  including its concern with "big issues" such as building a united Africa. I hear this is an agenda, the pursuit of which, will upset forces that would seek to remove Mr Malema from the face of the earth, writes Ralph Mathekga

The EFF has successfully held its conference over the weekend in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

The outcome of the conference gives a glimpse into what the party will most likely get up to from now on.

The message of the conference is that the EFF will not change course; that the party will rather consolidate its position in society and soldier on in pursuit of its ideals, including its pursuit of a socialist-styled state.

If there is one word to capture the message that comes out of the EFF conference, that word is ESCALATE.

The EFF will intensify its efforts against the party's perceived enemies, including what the party considers to be groups of politicians and businesspeople who are set on distracting South Africa from achieving a true socialist revolution.

This political project will essentially require that the EFF scale up its anti-establishment posture, including confronting powerful stakeholders in society head-on.

This may also require that the EFF maintain, if not escalate, its suspicion towards the judiciary; that the institution is influenced by powerful interest groups in society as opposed to being concerned about the public interest.

Given the EFF's escalating tensions with the media - which is part of the party's anti-establishment campaign - it is not positioned to adopt a conciliatory tone on any matter.

The EFF that came out of the Nasrec conference has been further radicalised.

The re-election of Julius Malema as the party's president and Floyd Shivambu as the deputy is a strong indication that the two top leaders of the party have been able to consolidate their influence on the EFF; setting the party on course for another five years in pursuit of the politics of disruption at a higher scale than before.

The exit of the otherwise moderate or mild-tempered duo of Dali Mpofu and Godrich Gardee from the top leadership of the party also signals significant rallying by Malema and Shivambu.

Mpofu and Gardee knew it before the conference that their days at the top echelon of the EFF were numbered.

There is nothing sinister in the two having been shown the door.

Then reality is that Mpofu and Gardee do not fit very well into the picture of the EFF that takes off from Nasrec; the EFF that will need to rally behind top leaders who are facing questions regarding their personal finances.

Moderates have fallen from the top leadership, and hardliners have ascended as the EFF continues to feel attacked by the establishment in South Africa. The party also followed through at their conference by adopting radical policy positions.

In addition to the election of leaders by more than 3 000 party delegates reported to have attended the conference, some interesting pronouncements were made by Malema regarding the policy position to be adopted by the party on matters of national interest.

The party has announced it will not allow privatisation of state electricity generation behemoth, Eskom.

The party also resuscitated the old Pan Africanist debate about forming a united Africa with a single currency and no borders.

This is admirable of the EFF, in principle.

I'm for a united Africa, no matter how unrealistic it looks for now.

That said, the EFF strategists are not always asleep.

They seem to have been at work, cobbling out some local anti-establishment political projects which is now intertwined with Pan Africanism.

So, the final story works out this way: any attacks on some of the bad decisions by the EFF or their leaders will conveniently be labelled Afro-Pessimism!

That's a stroke of a genius.

In the end, there is a new script that was written for the EFF in Nasrec, including its concern with "big issues" such as building a united Africa.

I hear this is an agenda, the pursuit of which, will upset forces that would seek to remove Mr Malema from the face of the earth.

Therefore, from now on all small-time journalists should refrain from confronting the EFF leaders about that small issue involving a small mutual bank in a small province called Limpopo, because the EFF has now moved on to big issues involving the continent and not some trivial matters of missing money belonging to South Africa's poor.

There shall be no loss of funds in a united Africa!

Not even the ANC could come out of Nasrec conference with such a clean script!

- Dr Ralph Mathekga is a political analyst and author of When Zuma Goes and Ramaphosa's Turn.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views.The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    eff  |  floyd ­shivambu  |  julius malema  |  politics


Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.