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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


EFF must ditch ‘insignificant leftists’ if they want to be taken seriously

Instead of effecting regime change and bringing the country to a standstill as he had planned, Malema only succeeded in attracting attention to the EFF.


Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema should not feel emboldened by a good turnout at Monday’s shutdown protest because he was not in control and the state apparatus was on top of the situation, an expert says. Another analyst said Malema had identified a void in the left which he wanted to occupy. But he would not succeed if he aligned with insignificant leftists instead of establishing alliances with like-minded political and civil society formations. EFF only attracted attention Political analyst Dirk Kotzé said instead of effecting regime change and bringing the country to a standstill as he had…

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema should not feel emboldened by a good turnout at Monday’s shutdown protest because he was not in control and the state apparatus was on top of the situation, an expert says.

Another analyst said Malema had identified a void in the left which he wanted to occupy. But he would not succeed if he aligned with insignificant leftists instead of establishing alliances with like-minded political and civil society formations.

EFF only attracted attention

Political analyst Dirk Kotzé said instead of effecting regime change and bringing the country to a standstill as he had planned, Malema only succeeded in attracting attention to the EFF. The protests solicited a massive response from the state which minimised the impact.

Kotzé, from the University of SA’s department of politics, said instead of a complete shutdown there were less activities in the streets than normal.

ALSO READ: KZN opposition parties say national shutdown highlighted EFF’s lack of support

“This situation was not controlled by the EFF. Rather the state institutions were in control and better organised than in the past. Also the security forces were not unprepared because the EFF gave early notice of the shutdown,” he said.

The parties that participated in the march were the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania, expelled ANC member Carl Niehaus, the African Transformation Movement and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

ALSO READ: National shutdown: Impact was ‘not huge’

Bantu Holomisa’s United Democratic Movement (UDM) expressed solidarity with the EFF shutdown and organised its own events.

‘No move to the left’

Kotze dismissed any notion that the EFF had taken the strategic initiative to become the leader of the left in SA.

“I don’t think there is a move to the left. The small parties that were there saw an opportunity to get airtime. They went to create an impression of a united front, but I did not see it,” he said.

Mashego said Saftu joined because general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi believed they could exploit workers who ideologically identify with EFF but did not see a home in other union structures.

ALSO READ: EFF-led protests could become more common as 2024 elections draw closer

Regarding the UDM’s participation, the analyst said Holomisa saw himself in Malema.

“Both have friends in the ANC while they continue to rabble rouse. The difference could be that Holomisa is constitutional while Malema is an anarchist.”

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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