By Mzukona Mantshontsho
The Economic Freedom Fighters of South Africa were on Thursday 5 September given the nod by the Independent Electoral Commission as a political party and would be able to contest the 2014 national elections.
The delay was as a result of an objection by the Freedom Front Plus, noting that some of the pillars of the EFF were unconstitutional. The EFF was officially launched on Thursday 11 July after the launch of Agang SA on Saturday 22 June before the 2014 national elections.
One of the more vocal and familiar faces in the EFF launch and political space in South Africa was none other than former ANCYL President and now Commander in Chief at EFF Julius Sello Malema. The world has seen many leaders come and go. Some left amazing legacies, others left destruction, others just left – Africa being our case study in recent times and going back in time to the Independence in Ghana, over 50 years ago.
Every time a new leader or political party is introduced, it allows for new enthusiasm, innovations, ideas and a change of mindset. Observing the politics, emotions and theatrics at play every time there is a change in leadership; people react either with enthusiasm or strong resistance.
Our reaction to new leadership is based on the reputation of the existing leadership, combined with expectations and hopes of improvement from the new one. Either way, the introduction of new leadership and political parties brings with it a weird mixture of uncertainty, combined with hope and excitement.
Leadership Guru John Maxwell said: “Everything falls on leadership, leadership is the key enabler, without leadership there is darkness”.
AgangSA said they would do away with corruption and leadership with integrity would be priority. AgangSA further made a bold statement that no government employee would do business with government.
Malema in an interview following the launch said: “The principles of economic freedom were suppressed by the ruling party ANC, hence the need to start a new political party. Economic transformation would be priority; land expropriation without compensation would be in the agenda of EFF. The nationalization of mines and banks would follow. He quoted Venezuela and Chile as success stories of nationalization as an enabler to transformation. He quoted Zimbabwe as having reclaimed her land.
The Seven Pillars of the EFF:
• Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution,
• Nationalisation of Mines, Banks and other strategic sectors of the economy,
• Building State and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders,
• Free quality education, healthcare, housing and sanitation,
• Massive protected Industrial Development to create millions of sustainable jobs,
• Massive development of African economy and advocating for a more reconciliation to justice,
• Open, accountable government and society without fear of victimization by State defence, police and other agencies.
All remains to be seen if the EFF will gain popularity and if they will make a change in the political space in South Africa.
If we do not like our leaders we must banish them, if we do not like our government, we must fight to change it. If we do not like the way our funds are plundered, we must speak out and stop it. Building a great South Africa is the job of each of us. We can never entrust that to just a few people seated in the comfortable seats of parliament – but we can direct them.