‘Slave owners not our family’ – EFF on Commonwealth debate
The recent debate in the National Assembly raised controversial points, with the EFF advocating for African nations to exit the Commonwealth altogether.
EFF flag, photo for illustration purposes. Photo: The Citizen/Neil McCartney
On Wednesday, a debate concerning the transformation of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) took place in the National Assembly.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) took a radical stance on the issue, focusing instead on restructuring the Commonwealth.
The EFF proposes that all African nations should exit the Commonwealth altogether and concentrate on the development and empowerment of African Union (AU) institutions.
EFF’s view of Commonwealth
According to the EFF, the Commonwealth was established to uphold the association between former British colonies deemed as ‘free and equal’.
This, the red berets say, is a paradox used to mollify indecisive leaders, particularly in Africa.
The party points out that the Commonwealth was formed in 1949, preceding the independence of any African state from their colonial oppressors.
Britain not Africa’s ‘family’
In their statement, the EFF questioned the so-called ‘Family Nations’ term used to describe Commonwealth countries.
The party queried the concept of developing a kinship with those who were once oppressors and slave owners.
What could possibly make us ‘family’ with our oppressors, slave owners and killers?
The party also pointed out that King Charles III is the head of the Commonwealth.
Charles III is, therefore, part of a monarchy which oversaw brutal oppressions, land dispossession, and theft of African resources without any reparations or apologies.
Argument against foreign influence
The EFF likened the Commonwealth to the Francophone arrangement, which, according to them, still holds African countries under France’s influence.
They also criticised the protocol that requires newly elected African leaders – referred to as ‘lads and lassies’ – to pay visits to the British monarch.
The EFF also applauded former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for his decisive action in withdrawing Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.
They called for African countries to break free from this perceived mental slavery and govern without foreign influence or ‘babysitting’.