Malema, the EFF and the Promise of a New Zimbabwe

With Nelson Mandela unlikely to survive much longer, South Africans will soon have to confront a future devoid of the multi-cultural and multi-racial consensus embodied by their former leader. Whilst South Africa is far from racially harmonious, Mandela’s efforts, both during and after his presidency, have prevented the sort of widespread bloodshed and racist retaliation seen in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Mandela's gestures of reconciliation gave hope of a harmonious, multi-racial state in South Africa
Mandela’s gestures of reconciliation gave hope of a harmonious, multi-racial state in South Africa

Without Mandela, an increasingly weak, corrupt and indecisive ANC government, and a promotion of militancy by firebrands such as Julius Malema, a new Zimbabwe may be on the horizon.

Malema is one of the chief concerns. Formerly leader of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League, Malema was expelled for his aggressive challenge towards the ANC hierarchy and refusal to play second-fiddle to established politicians. His response has been to establish a new political party: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Described variously as Marxist-Leninist, Communist, Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Imperialist, the EFF is little more than a quasi-militant body, using political registration for a veneer of legitimacy. Prominent members include pan-Africanists and ANC dissidents. This includes Dali Mpofu, whose affair with Winnie Mandela led to the irrevocable staining of the latter’s reputation, despite Malema’s idiotic claim that the affair was a fabrication of Afrikaner propaganda.

The ANC has accused the Zimbabwean ruling party, Zanu-PF, of supporting Malema’s EFF and it would be little surprise if this is true. Like Zanu-PF, the EFF is an inherently racist party, no better than the white minority regimes of the past that it is so keen to decry. Like Zanu-PF, the EFF, if given the chance, would steal white land and distribute it to its black supporters. Threats of violence against white South Africans are a feature of fledgling EFF rallies.


Malema makes no secret of his hatred for white South Africans
Malema makes no secret of his hatred for white South Africans

Robert Mugabe has never apologised for the excesses of his ‘land reform’ in Zimbabwe and has refused to compensate victims despite rulings from independent tribunals in South Africa. Should Malema ever come to power, he is likely to be equally uncompromising.

It should be noted that Malema and the EFF are unlikely to storm the next general election and form a South African government. However, if the EFF is unable to enact its planned policies ‘legitimately’ through government, it may choose to do so illegally through unsanctioned land grabs and mine seizures.

Furthermore, as the Zuma government and the ANC becomes increasingly synonymous with corrupt practices and an inability to improve the lives of the poorest black Africans, the EFF will gain greater support. The most recent accusation against the hapless president is that he grossly overspent on upgrades to his rural homestead in the name of ‘national security’.

The longer such abuses of power continue, the less people will associate the ANC with its anti-Apartheid legacy. Whilst many still vote for the ANC out of habit and gratitude, the increasing publicisation of its declining effectiveness in government will lead those regular supporters to question their complicity.

White farmers were forcibly removed in Zimbabwe and agricultural productivity subsequently crashed
White farmers were forcibly removed in Zimbabwe and agricultural productivity subsequently crashed

All this helps Malema, a racist in the true sense of the word, a man keen to impose the Zimbabwean model on South Africa and destroy any remaining notions of Mandela’s consensus.


Author: Stefan Lang

An interested observer of current affairs, researcher and writer

6 thoughts on “Malema, the EFF and the Promise of a New Zimbabwe”

  1. Thanks for putting it so bluntly. I wish more South Africans would wake up from their slumber of complacency and recognise the dangers of letting this megalomaniac continue his march. You put it concisely and were not afraid to share your distaste for this man. May I salute you? I have started a similar exercise of exercising my freedom of expression in explaining why I think that this man remains a danger to us, on my blog no less.

    1. I appreciate the comment.

      There certainly does seem a complacency that Malema will just disappear and that no action against him is therefore necessary. Such sentiments are dangerous given that the man has pretty much openly promised warfare against white South Africans!

      1. This Land belongs to all South Africans regardless of racial affiliation you belong to and Malama must stop thinking that we are his instruments that can direct him to the God life. He is not a real politician but just a stupid celebrity that seeks a national attention due to the fact that He was refused proper care and love by his parents.

  2. the author of this article is somehow misguided in his reporting and writing. How can he bluntly say Malema will steal white land and give it to his blacks……did the whites bring land from Netherlands and Britain? I f they did then i stand to be corrected. A colonial redress on the current economic inequalities and imbalances is a sure course that South Africa shall take shortly..whether through Malema or any other institutional setting. My advice to white land owners is that be willing to resolve this existing imbalances amicably through dialogue and be prepared to give away some of the vast amounts of resources that you have been enjoying alone. The Zimbabwean situation can only be averted in this beloved nation if yu dont choose to be resistive and continuously believe that yu are the rightful owners of all the resources you forcibly seized from helpless black South Africans then.

    1. You are no doubt correct that some type of land reform will take place in the near future in South Africa. What form it takes will be up to the government, current and prospective landowners. White land owners could certainly do worse than enter into dialogue to try and come to a compromise over the possession of land. However, the idea of a colonial redress is dangerous. Many current landowners bear no responsibility for what went before them and therefore to usurp their land wholesale would be criminal.
      It is in everybody’s interest to avoid the Zimbabwe situation. Not just the whites who were evicted, robbed and murdered but also black Zimbabweans who took over huge responsibilities without any experience and plunged both themselves and their country into economic turmoil.
      This scenario would almost certainly happen in South Africa were Malema to take charge. Hopefully the ANC, despite their often misguided intentions in recent years, will realise the sensitivity of the situation and the white landowners will be sensible enough to listen to a variety of proposals to avoid unnecessary conflict.

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