2014-08-28 10:01

Following the unanticipated of birth of the EFF mid-last year, only a handful of South Africans believed that the idea of Julius Malema leading his own political party would materialise into something worth our attention, time and energy. It just didn't make sense, that a person whose views and methods had been rejected by the ruling party would be able to seep his way into hard, dry and infertile ground and actually grow into something of value, so much as to transform the political landscape of this country.

Within months after inception, the EFF had spread across the country like a raging veld-fire, winning the support of hundreds of thousands of South Africans, and almost eroding the Congress of the People to extinction. The party was proving to be twice the size of what many had expected it to be, and unsurprisingly, what some hoped it would not become: radical and to a very great degree, militant. It resembled the posture and character of its founding leader, a man whom the media and the ruling party (his former political home) described as a demagogue and fascist, respectively. But what made the EFF fairly successful in their election campaign? (realists would know why I say fairly successful), and how do they manage to feature in our political conversations daily?

The answer to all these questions is one: The ANC! Allow me to put my seemingly shallow answer into perspective. Following a disruptive protest by the EFF in the National Assembly late last week, in which they chanted the words "Pay Back The Money" to President Jacob Zuma, clearly because they were not satisfied with his response to the National Assembly pertaining to the outcomes of the investigations on his controversial Nkandla residence, some ANC supporters turned to social media to vilify and condemn the behaviour of the EFF, citing the opposition party's disregard for parliament decorum as a reason. However, in their observation of the EFF's bad conduct, not once did they stop to ask why, let alone critique this now apparent foreign behaviour.

The truth is, the behaviour of the EFF is merely a reaction to the conduct of the members of the ANC in government. The EFF's outrageous and irking conduct is a reflection of the frustrations South Africans experience each time they come into contact with a newspaper front page reporting on how those at the top of the political hierarchy continuously help themselves to that which does not belong to them. It is a reaction to the anger and the impatience of millions of South Africans who go months without proper sanitation, clean water, electricity, schools and jobs and are told this is so because there's only so far a budget can go. For a second, put on a humanitarian hat over the political and think: has any of us stopped to ask whether if any of the people living in appalling conditions were to be in parliament they would observe decorum and be civil?

The reality I am trying to present before us is that, whether political or not, the behaviour of the EFF should not be used as an excuse to divert our attention from the fact that President Jacob Zuma failed to satisfy both the public and the Public Protector in his response. The inability of the ANC to recognize accountability and honesty as guiding principles to realising a dignified standing in society is the primary reason it's members are always investing their energies in defending individuals, and not real, genuine policy issues. And until such a time that most them are willing to acknowledge this, they will continue to play blind loyalists while the name of their organisation is dragged through the mud at the expense of the dignity of our state organs.

Our leaders in the ANC need to understand that it is scourge of corruption that is feeding on the soul of the ANC, not the EFF and certainly not the Public Protector. Greed has never and will never be pleasant to the of eye of he who has been left out in the cold to suffer at the might of poverty, particularly, when he contributes to the creation of the wealth from which he is excluded.


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2010-11-21 18:15

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