By Sbongakonke Mbatha
After 20 years of democracy South Africa saw rise to infant political parties like the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) amongst many.
Potential game changers?
All forms of communication gave way to new players on the tracks. After that we witnessed what most political analysts considered to be the most contested general elections in the history of our democracy. South Africa’s fifth general elections were a sprint to the finish where all parties campaigned tirelessly to be crowned victors.
Amongst the infant contenders, the EFF, led by the highly vocal Julius Malema, shocked masses when it emerged as the third most popular party after the ANC and the DA.
When one recalls Malema’s bitter break up with the ANC, one of the questions that would surface amongst many would be: Who would have thought?
Really, who would have?
It is true that time is the most powerful storyteller because our reality is nothing we ever imagined. Nobody thought that the controversial former African National Congress Youth League leader would cause such a stir in the political sphere so shortly after his expulsion.
Many had drawn the conclusion that Malema was just making angry threats, blowing hot air and throwing tantrums like a woman scorned by an undeserving lover.
What seemed like a bitter revenge strategy has earned the EFF 25 seats in parliament.
Is Malema still trying to settle a score with President Jacob Zuma at the expense of all those who voted for him? Or does he genuinely have a vision for a better South Africa, or better yet, was he just looking for a proper position for his idea for change to materialize?
Looking at the long and very controversial campaign tracks that led to the elections finish line, there was one strong EFF weapon that many failed to pay attention to. Under those red barrets were young faces.
It is one recipe that gave this eight month old party political status, giving opposition parties a run for their money.
Malema cultivated a clever strategy of mobilizing the young, unemployed and frustrated. He tapped into a youth that sees no future and are without jobs.
Does South Africa need Malema leadership? How will this country benefit from Malema leadership that seems to have no stem of political support? Did he bite more than he can chew?
In an article posted by SowetanLive (online), a female EFF activist from Marikana has been selected as one of the party’s parliamentarians because she mobilized the Marikana locals and miners in support of the party. This woman used to live in a corrugated iron shack and these are some of the benefits she will enjoy once in position:
- R80 000 salary per month
- Free accommodation
- Free flights to attend parliament
To my surprise the masses support this. “Viva parliament of the people viva”, are the exact words that echo. What does this mean for parliament? Entertainment of mediocrity?
Malema is making a lot of changes; rebellious actions to prove his point and expose how wrong those in governance are. It looks like parliamentary status is slowly being weakened seeing that such appointments are being made and EFF leader appears in parliament wearing overalls and carrying the correct articulation to justify his dress code.
Questions. Bulks of questions. I give Malema 25 chances to answer me.