It’s time for the EFF to clearly define what their revolution is about


The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Commander-In-Chief Julius Malema’s immediate response to the high court ruling that their national shutdown protest can go ahead was to declare: “You cannot stop a revolution”.

This was after the Democratic Alliance had challenged their protest in court.

The EFF has always spoken of a revolution and their appeal to South Africa’s most unemployed segment in society, namely, the black youth, is undeniable. Be that as it may, the EFF, an organisation that is part of South Africa’s parliamentary system, needs to take the country along with it in explaining what this revolution will look like.

Also Read: ‘National shutdown may not be violent’: EFF using social media as a tactic to instill fear

Right now, the path to that revolution is defined by fear and intimidation of anyone else who does not support their cause.

It is such a pity that the grievances on which the national shutdown is based are something that is common to all South Africans and logically, all citizens should support a call that galvanizes the country to a protest that aims to compel the ruling party to resolve these grievances.

But for the rest of the country, the loudest sound they heard when the call for the shutdown was made is “you will take part in this protest whether you like it or not”.

Not even a hint of a suggestion to “come join our protest if you agree with our reasoning”.

Just a “on the 20th of March nothing will move in this country: No buses, no trains… the only transport that must move is that taking protestors to marches”.

Also Read: Santaco delivers EFF its biggest blow by shunning national shutdown

The EFF’s path to a revolution that will remove an elected president involves forcing citizens to take part in their protest action. Yes, forcing people against their will to partake in their defined path to their revolution.

How else do they come to the conclusion that “nothing else must move” when they protest?

It must be acknowledged that the establishment of the party after Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu were booted out of the ruling party changed the face of opposition politics in South Africa. Forever.

Here was a group of mainly young people that were not to only depend on parliamentary processes to hold the president and his executive to account. They were prepared to go into Parliament in overalls and chant their displeasure in the face of the tyranny of numbers that the ruling party was hiding behind.

Their methods were rogue, disrupting and clearly unapologetic. And that ushered a new era where the ruling party had to ask itself: “what will the opposition (EFF) do when we mess up?” But their unusual ways of doing politics were not forced down anyone’s throat like they are doing now.

This revolution that everyone is being forced to take part in needs to be defined so that the country knows what South Africa’s third largest political party wants to put this country through: Is it large boulders and burning tyres on the road?

Is it unemployed youth running amok in the streets looting businesses that ironically contribute to reducing the unemployment that they protesting against? Is this revolution the shutting down of an already-ailing economy?

Most importantly though, the EFF must take the whole country along in defining exactly what its endgame is.

If the endgame is a change of government outside of the defined parliamentary process and constitutionally defined electoral process they must come out and say it.

It cannot be that companies as large at Toyota must shut down for a day and that is celebrated as a victory for the shutdown when this country’s biggest problem is clearly unemployment.

In a country like SA, that is counterrevolutionary.