– The Red’s appear to be losing their revolutionary fire. In October 2015, thousands of EFF supporters marched through the streets of Sandton to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, an impressive carnival of anti-white monopoly rhetoric.
The EFF’s Commander-In-Chief Julius Malema handed over a list of demands to the Chamber of Mines and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which was received by JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King. Key demands included that at least 51% of the JSE be controlled by workers, a minimum wage of R4 500, and souring of at least 70% of goods and services from South African producers.
Malema’s second-in-command Floyd Shivambu threatened a shutdown of the JSE as well as individual companies on the JSE if a response was not given within 30 days.
So let’s fast forward to Friday January 13, 2017. More than a year later. A diminutive Malema was seen shaking hands with Nicky Newton-King. This very British gesture seems to have replaced the revolutionary salute. His top-six team posed with the CEO of the JSE, no berets or gum boots in sight. Perhaps this was not a working session after all. Never before has a revolution been quite so polite.
Malema was correct when he said in 2015 that no-one is giving white monopoly capital sleepless nights like the EFF. But no more. Not one business has been shutdown by the EFF. Not a single Absa branch has been occupied by the EFF despite threats by the EFF in 2015 that they would occupy all Absa branches.
Interesting, too, is that while Malema is quoted as saying Absa is an apartheid-era company guilty of stealing money, he has been mute on the investigation into Absa by the Public Protector, which could see Absa pay back more than R2bn relating to allegations of an unlawful bailout of Bankcorp before 1994.
The EFF begins its three-day plenum session today, which brings together the Central Command Team, Provincial and Regional structures for strategic planning and reflections. It is said that the party is facing leadership squabbles and discontent, with imposed leadership at branch level by Malema and Shivambu.
Criticism has also been directed towards Malema and top leadership for their lack of real support for jailed student Bongikhosi Khanyile. The CIC visited him one hundred days into his imprisonment on January 8, 2016, and some suggest this was a political maneuver to distract from the ANC’s 105-year celebration on the same day.
The recent fanfare of the EFF at the release of APLA commander and political prisoner Kenny Motsamai has also drawn criticism for being a publicity stunt. Spectacle and political opportunism seems to have become the hallmark of the EFF.
White monopoly capital must be breathing a sigh of collective relief.