The ‘beret’ elections - who wore it best?

By Drum Digital
11 January 2014

EFF party leader Julius Malema has accused the DA and ANC as “lacking creativity” after the political parties added a blue and a red beret as part of their regalia ahead of the upcoming national elections.

“The EFF is a trendsetter and there are still many other things political parties will copy from us because we are relevant and will be relevant until elections victory,” said, at a conference held at Easy Hotel in Johannesburg.

He says the military style beret has become a symbol, synonymous with other leaders of the revolutionary struggle such as Chez Guevara, Fidel Castro and Thomas Sankara.

The beret regalia are also worn by the South African Communist Party in red, the French Millitary and United Nations peacekeepers in blue, as well as the US Special Forces in green.

Western Cape Premier, Helen Zilla adorned her blue beret at a DA rally that took place at Westridge Gardens Amphitheatre last year, and mocked the EFF by claiming: “No political party will be taken seriously without one.”

The ANC has already distributed nearly 50 000 berets and Malema is at pains to understand how the colour ‘red’ appeared in their national colours which are gold, green and black. “Red is originally an EFF colour because it represents the blood that has been shed by those who have died during the struggle for economic freedom,” he said. He describes the Marikana and Sharpeville massacres as symbolic of that struggle.

Malema first introduced the beret during his tenure as ANCYL leader, which quickly became a trendy, fashion statement when celebrity tycoon Kenny Kunene wore it in public.

Malema believes opposing parties have jumped on the beret bandwagon, as another effort to undermine the EFF, along with what he believes is an agreement between the ANC and the SABC to limit coverage of the EFF in broadcasting media.

- Ayanda Sitole

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