IN A SPEECH littered with offensive references to ‘men’ and ‘man’ that ignored the substantial role played by African women, both during the struggle against apartheid, and the fight against colonialism, Prof PLO Lumumba gave students a one-sided sermon on African history, that avoided her-story. Outside the largely, empty Sara Baartman hall, EFF martials assaulted several LGBT protesters. This in front of a massive crowd of gatherers from the LGBT community which included students, academic staff and allies, who waved Rainbow flags, and sang songs.
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, appeared embarrassed, as she addressed several news teams covering the event, wearing dark shades and avoiding eye contact. She claimed the organisation was ‘not responsible’ for the views of its guests, even though inside, Lumumba’s speech was being met by loud clapping and even applause by EFF supremo, Julius Malema.
Now eager to appear straight, monogamous and even liberal, Malema orchestrated a flipflopping equivocation, joining other EFF staff in trotting out chicanery — what was once the preserve of the traditional far-right. Yes, you heard that right, the liberal “marketplace of ideas”. Malema’s sophistry translates into a disclaimer that the professor’s views are merely ‘his own opinions with which one may agree or disagree’.
Would he be so accommodating if his guest were an outright religious conservative who thinks abortion-on-demand is murder? A white supremacist who believes black persons are inferior?
Trouble with such an expedient and calculated viewpoint, is that anti-hate speech clauses in our Constitution limit speech that is ‘hateful, incitement to violence and propaganda for war’.
The SCA had earlier this month dismissed an EFF application for leave to appeal an interdict , brought , to restrain the party from ‘inciting people to invade private property’. The leader of the red berets however, has escaped several applications brought regarding hate-speech.
The most obvious case being a highly publicised action by Afriforum against various “Kill the Boer” statements. One can only remark that if the boot was on the other foot, would our justice system think differently? There is certainly double-standards at play.
Our country’s enfeebled justice system thus appears to have moved the bar of hate speech, shifting the burden of evidence onto applicants, who are now forced to prove actual harm. The infamous Jon Qwalane case, in which a former Sunday Times columnist was found guilty of homophobic statements by the SAHRC for equating homosexuality with bestiality, was thus overturned on appeal by the SCA in 2021, ‘because nobody died as a result‘.
It is unclear whether the SCA’s obtuse and frankly, outrageous ruling extends to recent statements made by Prof Lumumba, to the effect that LGBT persons should also face the death penalty? Should hate speech, or speech clearly aimed at overthrowing our own democratic system, and the values it purports to uphold, be protected?
Can one really campaign for South Africa to be replaced by Lumumbabwe?
LITTLE MORE THAN one year ago, Julius Malema delivered a bellicose address aimed at expressing his party’s unconditional support for Putin and the United Russia Party (URP) which opposes Gay Marriage. The Russian president had just delivered a Valentine’s Day address stating same-sex marriage “will not happen” as long as he was in the Kremlin.
Juxtapose this situation with Malema’s latest pink-inspired speech before a large crowd picketing outside the Ugandan Embassy in Pretoria to protest Yoweri Museveni’s Anti-homosexuality Bill.
The leader of South Africa’s third largest political party, can be seen draped in the Rainbow Flag, synonymous with Gay Pride, professing open support for LGBT rights: “This bill is anti-human because gay rights are human rights,” enthused Malema.
“How are you going to identify that a person is gay, what scientific methods are you going to use to determine a person is lesbian? The only thing you can do is to look at a person and out of hatred decide this one is gay or lesbian and you want to kill them. That cannot be correct” he said.
Is this the self-same man, the red finagler who recently stated he would provide escort protection for Putin if the Russian President arrived in the country for a BRICS summit later this year? There is currently not a single person of colour in Putin’s cabinet, ditto LGBT.
Despite the fanfare, lofty words and woke posturing, Malema’s track record when it comes to LGBT-rights has proven quite the opposite of the puff pieces put out by his militant powdered ‘battalions’. The EFF is in a coalition with the openly homophobic Al Jama-ah Party, whose political platform opposes events such as Gay Pride, the annual Jozi Pink Pages event.
A press release put out by the party put the position on LGBT bluntly: “Their lifestyle is condemned and unacceptable.”
But as Malema explained, he intends to ‘kiss a few frogs in order to gain power”, just not that kind of frog?
Leftist political expediency, cast in broad brush strokes, could turn into an awkward ‘trill and whistle’ during the coming BRICS Summit? If the EFF want to be seen as credible voices for LGBT rights, not merely the authors of kissing points — amphibious croakers tickling electoral boxes — then they should explain to the public their abject silence and total acquiescence when it comes to Russian rights?
Surely what is good for the Goose is good for Uganda, and is good for the rest of the globe?
The EFF pink virtue signalling certainly falls flat when it comes to the party’s other policy hallmarks — unconditional support for Hamas whose authoritarian regime has implemented penalties for homosexuality, including 10-year imprisonment terms. Male same-sex activity is still illegal and punishable by imprisonment in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman and Syria. It is also punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
In Yemen and the Gaza Strip, the punishment might differ between death and imprisonment depending on the act committed.
JULIUS MALEMA has doubled-down on his statements calling murder a ‘revolutionary activity’. The party advocates the use of violence in dealing with what it terms, racism and ‘white supremacy’. Begging the question who gets to decide which is which, and with obvious problems presented by vigilantism? While South Africa may have laws against hate speech and even racism, we certainly don’t have a summary death penalty for either.
The SA Human Rights Commission had earlier found that EFF leader’s speech and posters and banners displayed at the party’s Provincial People’s Assembly in the Western Cape last month “collectively, constitute incitement of violence, hate speech”.
In his speech before his party’s provincial assembly, Malema said a white person involved in an incident at Brackenfell High School in 2020, should have been be dealt with more brutally, and went from promoting the murder of his opponents, to providing a rationale for a resumption of armed struggle along similar lines once advocated by the late Nelson Mandela, before the advent of the current democratic order.
Malema said anyone standing in the way of his party’s own self-styled ‘revolution’ should be ‘eliminated’, and dealt with ‘by any means necessary’, by which one can only assume, he means to topple the current democratic dispensation, one which provides sanctuary and due process to those charged with a crime, and compensation to those wronged by abhorrent past race policies.
Malema in a video available on Youtube, can be seen telling EFF members that they must “not be afraid to kill” and that “killing is a revolutionary act”.
The EFF leader is also quoted as saying: “Why did Mandela take up a gun?… He took up a gun because the revolution had reached a point where there was no longer an alternative but to kill.”
“Anything that stands in the way of the revolution must be eliminated. The EFF… is not a playground for racists and any racists that play next to the EFF and threatens and beat up the membership and the leadership of the EFF, that is the application to meet your maker with immediate effect.”
After the SAHRC decision, a press statement put out by EFF South Africa, deployed both Franz Fanon and dialectical materialism to provide a rationalisation for their reasons for embarking upon a path of violence. The party upbraided the SAHRC for ‘contradicting Fanon’ on issues to do with violence, written whilst the author was supporting Algerian independence from France.
Given 10 days by the SAHRC to issue an apology, Malema said, he would challenge the decision in court, and further claimed the ‘honeymoon for whites is over’.
JULIUS MALEMA cynically used an event held to commemorate the 1960 Sharpville massacre to lend his support by implication, to the bombing of a Mariupol Theatre four days earlier, in which 400 persons including children were sheltering. He thus praised Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine on a National holiday, now called Human Rights Day, more commonly associated with an apartheid-era massacre which killed 69 people.
Contrast this with Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek economist and former Finance Minister who has written a manifesto of sorts, on the Ukraine conflict. He says: “When a country or region is invaded, I am overcome by one duty: To take the side of the people facing troops with direct orders to violate their homes, to bombard their neighbourhoods, to destroy the circumstances of their lives. Without hesitation. Unconditionally.”
If that is not an indication of where many on the left find themselves in this conflict, then I don’t know what would rank as a typical leftist, albeit misguided position? The position of the leader of the so-called Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on the other hand, can only be termed, despicable, and is perhaps redolent of nostalgia for the past?
Malema made much of the fact that Russia, during the Soviet period had armed MK guerrillas with Kalashnikovs as well as other war materiel and financial aid. He didn’t bother to inform his comrades that the Anti-Communist and fascist philosopher, Ivan Ilyin once expelled by Lenin, is considered to be a major ideological inspiration for Putin, who was personally involved in moving Ilyin’s remains back to Russia, and in 2009 consecrating his grave (see below).
Varoufakis states: “Today we must stand with Ukraine, unconditionally. And we must say it out loud: Putin is a war criminal whose campaign sits in the same category as the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland or the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. No ifs, no buts. Our task must be one: To help Ukrainians gain their independence against a ruthless invader.”
Like many anti-war resisters, I stood against USA and its war in Iraq, in the same manner that I oppose the war being fought by adults against children in the Middle East. I was thus an organiser and marshal at an event in 2002 (held on my birthday), which saw 100 000 people marching down Adderley St calling for an end to the war.
Unlike the South African Communist Party (SACP) whose starting point is a universal ‘stand for peace’, or the Pan African Congress (PAC) whose position, much like the ANC, is seemingly one of non-alignment,( in this case, Pro-African non-alignment, rather than a flailing Pro-Brics effort at neutrality under Ramaphosa ) — the far-left EFF appear to have swallowed the lies being punted by Vladimir Putin, who is really nothing more than a white Christian Nationalist and despot.
Julius Malema, attempted pretty much the same feat by coming out in open support of the invasion, before a unified throng of red overalls,he reiterated: “We are not with America, we are with Russia.”
With deputy Floyd Shivambu earlier urging renewed support of Russia, the EFF appear to ignore the fact that Putin has been shown to be a disciple and scholar of Ivan Ilyin — a far-right Russian nationalist and anti-Communist expelled by Lenin in 1922, — and also Alexander Dugin, the Eurasianist and fascist geopolitician, who rank amongst other ‘symbols of classical Russian historiography’ quoted by the leader in the run up to the invasion.
Malema of course, didn’t let on that since he is 41 and born 3 March 1981, he was not much older than 10 when the USSR broke up, paving the way for South Africa’s own negotiated settlement. In short, Malema never carried a gun during the struggle and was never part of the anti-apartheid movement, as anything more than a minor.
He thus requires a further lesson in history. For Ilyin, ‘any talk about a Ukraine separate from Russia made one a mortal enemy of Russia’. The philosopher disputed that an individual could choose their nationality ‘any more than cells can decide whether they are part of a body.”
This is a far cry from the collegiality and internationalism for which communism was once famed, and even the Pan Africanism which informs many political schools of thought in South Africa.
Dugin is a leading strategist behind the United Russia Party, which supports Putin in the Kremlin. A fascist and anti-Communist, he is the author of a Russian version of “Manifest Destiny” known as Foundations of Geopolitics (1997), a work used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military.
Today’s address must be seen as consistent with the commandeerist and vanguardist philosophy for which his far-left faction are renowned. The trouble with our national broadcaster’s approach, one of drawing in the troublesome EFF, is that it has allowed Malema to garner new opportunistic heights during the Covid-19 crisis.
Though characteristically lengthy, (I will leave it up to news media to report the nuts and bolts), the address contained more than the usual number of clangers.
Even under lockdown, he attacked the private sector which he said, could not be relied upon to provide services and said such persons were ‘driven by the profit-motive instead of coming together in times of crisis’, a fact not born out by the government’s own policy of allowing some economic activity to continue.
Witness Malema’s crass attempt to set the stage for a new ‘politics of the body’, setting the scene to take future credit for the production of ventilators and health equipment by our military-industrial complex under Denel, and a programme thus already underway.
“The South African government currently owns Denel which produces high tech fighting machines, that capacity must be directed towards the production of medical equipment. How do we explain that we can build fighter jets, fighting machines, but we cannot build a ventilator to help people breathe? Why do we have capacity to produce guns to fight wars but cannot produce machines to save lives?” he asked.
Most of the politician’s address was caught up with an essentially bellicose attempt at holding both our government and industry to account for the crisis, whilst calling for stricter measures and harsher penalties, and reminding ‘revolutionaries’ that the ‘revolution was far from over, so long as the land was in white hands.’
‘If any workers lives were lost as a result of a premature exit from the national lockdown’, he fulminated, there would be hell to pay. In particular his party would make sure that for each worker’s life lost, the family ‘would receive at least R5 million’.
This after demanding an increase of the emergency crisis grant, to R1000. No credit given for President Ramaphosa’s historic introduction of a basic income grant (BIG) in times of need. Which is a bit like saying, ‘up the grant, and we will negotiate a payout if you die, or else’.
Not even socialist Sweden, which did not embrace a lockdown, has the kind of money to pay its entire population R1000pm, indefinitely, without there being some form of concomitant work in return, and thus a contribution by all workers to the nation’s exchequer. Malema however, called for BIG to be made permanent, and also demanded laptops and tablets for learners, another policy already implemented to some extant by the ANC, alongside E-learning.
Not content with playing catch-up to the ruling party and its remarkable series of interventions announced over the past week, by demanding stricter measures, and a return to moribund SOEs, Malema then proceeded to draw the kind of racist distinctions for which he is also famous.
One distinction in particular jarred, that made between European and Non-European, or in Malema terms, African and Non-African. That Malema was merely paraphrasing racist invective from the past whilst appearing to couch his arguments within the terms of black pride, can be seen in the following bizarre statement:
“Everyone thinks they are better than an African, they can made (sic) the worst form of suffering like Holocaust and bullets, they still will see themselves as better than Africans, meaning instead of human tragedy making them identify with Africans, they will still think of their own human suffering as better than being an African, why because African is being trapped in a skin colour, a body one can never escape.”
But I fear, it takes a special type of jingoism, an inversion of logic if you will, for the result to blur into a scenario where ‘Hitler’s suffering’ is at the heart of all the problems to do with the black body. And where contrary to black consciousness leader, Steve Biko, ‘blackness is now purely the result of skin pigmentation’. All whilst calling essentially for a school curriculum that could see compulsory political re-education camps and censure on the basis of ideological outlook?
The sheer problem of metaphysical and epic proportions, in the extrapolation of a new ‘physicality of the body politic’ as a Covid19 ‘discourse of suffering’ by Malema, requires a lot more rumination than is possible on Freedom Day.
However, one of the tactics deployed by the self-styled and would-be Marxist dictator over the years, has been to cast himself as an unstoppable theoretical force, already in power. (By the powers of Fanon & Sankara?). If only the outcome of the ballot paper were a bit different and our nation’s ideological battles could be resolved with a simple tick of the pen?
Freedom day is surely not the time to be making distinctions on the basis of race, colour, religion and creed? And a crisis is not the place to be issuing forth on a treatment regime for some at the expense of others? But of course, we all get that Malema is about to volunteer for the treatment action campaign, or do we?
No other opposition leader has been given quite the same legroom by our nation’s institutions to attack democracy (or the marketplace) from within, whether in terms of editorial or column space, and thus to gain access to radio listeners and television spectators thereby, using the very mechanisms of power.
Malema’s party has too readily been granted the kind of privilege reserved for our democratic founders, and the type of audience reserved for visiting heads of state, in issuing forth racist cant that divides our nation, not between the haves and have-nots, but between those who qualify as Africans in Malema’s eyes, and those who do not.
For many commentators, the emergence of the EFF is a strange fact of South African life, orchestrated by party insiders, those wanting to create an antidote to the mostly white official opposition, and those who want merely to steal the revolution.
It is time to call-out what is occurring before our eyes, on the nation’s screens, in the negation of the democratic promise of universal rights and freedom for all citizens, black and white.
THERE is an emerging far-left junta in South Africa. A disparate red anschluss surrounding the egos of Malema, Shivambu, Ndlozi and Vavi, who equally view Mandela’s legacy with antipathy and Constitutional democracy, as a means to an end. Our Constitution, accordingly, is nothing more than a highly flawed liberal document ‘protecting the interests of the few’, and equally defended “by liberal jurists who want to protect this liberal constitution at all costs.”(1)
United in their common loathing of minorities, ‘Indians, Jews, Whites, Capitalists’, and consequently the rule of law, these strongmen, seek to move the country away from its democratic foundation and market-socialist centre under the ANC, towards a radical re-alignment with an Anti-West and Anti-Zionist ticket, that could see the removal of the Constitutional dispensation and its replacement by a Marxist dictatorship, with a few strongmen at the helm of a command economy.
The current demand by the would-be all-male junta, whose war council speaks to the militarism associated with the EFF party (see here), is for the state to nationalise and take control of all private property. Thus the state in their mind, would be the custodian of all the land, including bonded real-estate. Instead of drawing rates and taxes off the sale and resale of property, the state would be in effect, the sole title-holder as citizens are reduced to mere tenants under a totalitarian system.
More worrying than the move away from individual freedom and a mixed economic model where property rights are protected, is the racial rhetoric and faux radicalism emanating from the war council’s Floyd Shivambu, whose statements about struggle veteran Ismail Momoniat in Parliament resulted in a storm of criticism. This was followed by party founder Julius Malema’s equally galling statements outside of parliament, claiming that ‘the majority of Indians are racist.’
Unionist Zwelinzima Vavi has proposed a final solution for Zionists on national television. Under the EFF any supporter of Israel, whether black or white, would thus find themselves imprisoned. The statement was backed up by a marvel of conflation and innuendo. A tweet stating ‘any supporter of apartheid here and abroad including support for apartheid Israel must not be fired but must face prison term (sic) for supporting a system declared a crime against humanity.”
The TRC process and negotiated settlement was contingent upon amnesty being granted in exchange for participation and acknowledgment of wrong-doing. The EFF thus appears want to discard the entire constitutional dispensation, including provisions protecting divergences in political beliefs and religious outlook.
Musa Novela, a spokesperson for the party’s Joburg region, thus released a bizarre statement last week condemning the DA’s Mpho Palatse, after DA Mayor Herman Mashaba had suspended the MMC of Health for her unauthorised participation at a ‘Stand with Israel’ event.
Embarrassingly, Novela’s statement claims that a 1974 (sic) UN resolution ‘declared Zionism to be a crime against humanity’. However resolution 3379 of 1975 ‘equating Zionism with racism’, was overturned in 1991 by the UN general assembly resolution 46/86 and thus adopted overwhelmingly by the majority of nations, 111 to 25. Although the ANCs Tony Ehrenreich has been known to call for revenge against supporters of Israel, this is the first time that a political party has proposed jail sentences for Zionists, and thus the limitation of their constitutional right to political and religious expression.
THAT some commentators and journalists are rising to the defense of paramilitary politics in South Africa is not all that surprising. Far-right spokesperson Simon Shear, whom the Daily Vox’s Sipho Hlongwane insists is required reading on the subject of the EFF and the urgent topic of whether self-proclaimed “Commander in Chief” Julius Malema, is a fascist or not, needs to be congratulated for setting the matter straight.
Yes, the EFF are a Marxist-Leninist party, and if anything, Malema is a Stalinist not a Fascist in the traditional sense of the word.
That Hlongwane should find himself quoting the author of a piece purporting to debunk Affirmative Action, and thus “The case against Affirmative Action” is typical of so many on the authoritarian left, who see in Malema many of the macho characteristics and atavistic impulses they too, would wish to emulate, yet also find the need to meekly reinterpret their party dictator and thus to apologise for his often strident and offensive comments, which exist alongside the steady racial barrage and ideological violence of his many lieutenants.
Hlongwane rushed into criticism of Van Onselen’s piece on the EFF, calling Malema a fascist, a piece which he believes is “an ideologically inconsistent mess, but the overall intended effect is to take concepts such as whiteness (no matter how many times that this doesn’t refer to white people, but a social construct of power), socialism, and even black consciousness off the table.”
If taking Affirmative Action off the table, to promote Milton Friedman, as Shear does, while dissing the new dawn Ramaphosa ANC and its politics of unity and centerism, the Maimane DA and its equal opportunity ‘property rights for all’, and thus the Rainbow Nation, isn’t in the same league, as dismissing all Marxists as simply the descendents of proto-fascists, then I don’t know what else would rate as a critique of the authoritarian centre of the new paramilitary left?
Not only does the belligerent EFF have a ‘war council’, in possible contravention of our pacifist constitution, but in many ways, its paramilitary operations have centred around the cult of personality which has evolved around Malema. A man whose daily diatribe and steady output of race-talk exists right alongside the politics of hate, symbols of outrage, and acts of political thuggery, which are emblematic of both National Socialism under the Nazis and Communism under Joseph Stalin.
Racism, hostility and ideological cant, all too familiar for many South Africans who may remember similar periods in which paramilitary organisations have graced the political stage, often urging violence, whilst seeking to play the parliamentary card of political privilege — thus it is almost impossible to check Nuremberg Rallies if they happen to happen in Vereeniging, or to counter Malema’s aggressive “cut the throat of whiteness” comment in the runup to an election in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Whether it be the brownshirts and swastikas of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging and the late Eugene Terreblanche or the Red attire of ‘White’ Communist Party leader W H Andrews, known as ‘Comrade Bill’, one of the Red leaders of the 1922 Rand Revolt, the denouement and rationale in authoritarianism, dictatorship and obedience to a leader at the expense of personal freedom, has always been the same.
In 1932 the South African Gentile National Socialist Movement of Louis Weichard emerged and quickly became known as the Greyshirts because of their clothing.
In 1939 a fascist and racist group known as the Ossewabrandwag (OB) was founded and along with its volkish symbolism, was also inspired by Adolf Hitler.
All were local South African fascist groups, and one should add that the term fascist does not necessarily connote a direct causal link with the politics of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Yet his fascist progeny have invariably emphasised ethnic, class and racial differences. Thus for the fascist right, it was Aryan race rhetoric which was used to organise amongst the various poor white immigrant communities, while for the fascist Afrikaner Reds, it was a strange mixture of class revolt and cruel desire to preserve economic advantage over their fellow black workers, and thus race privilege amongst the ranks of those with jobs, that drove their Marxist fantasy and inspired revolt.
A third not insignificant group known as New Order, emerged in 1940 under the leadership of Oswald Pirow.
In the case of Julius Malema, like his nemesis Jacob Zuma, the imperatives of equality and civil rights for all, outlined by our constitution, appear to have been bent by sleight of hand and trick of tongue, into a perverse demand for land but onlyfor those within the political laager, those closest to the Red authority at the Red centre, while the constitution itself is seen as merely an impediment to the leader’s ultimate stated goals of power for the sake of power and Totalitarianism by any other name. Malema’s Newcastle statements on slaughtering the opposition and land ownership for example, contradict his recent statements at New Brighton, all part and parcel of the get elected at any cost, and by any means campaign, and therefore the leader’s poetic license to say whatever needs to be said to any group, at any given time.
It was an admixture of right-wing groups, (and quasi-leftists), some armed with socialist ideas such as volkscapitalisme, which eventually became the National Party, a political organisation responsible for apartheid. The NP was openly affiliated to the International Gentile Movement, and sought special privileges for the Afrikaner to the exclusion of all other ‘race groups’ while creating an authoritarian state, a country whose economy still shares many of the defects associated with the socialism of former Eastern European Bloc countries.
Like these earlier periods, the misreading of seemingly egalitarian texts, whether the Bible or Das Kapital, combined with a volatile confluence of popular disgruntlement with the ruling party, racism in the form of anti-white hostility, and the lure of the land debate, all appear to have invigorated the paramilitary EFF party. Its leader, Julius Malema, not an emerging leftist ideological oracle, has been catapulted into media headlines, as the ranks at the forefront of the authoritarian left swell, and as demonstrated, are articulated by apparatchiks and gauleiters, who are not ashamed to draw ideas from the fascists on the far right when it suits them.
Hence the internal contradictions of the ANC itself, a party which risks losing elements within come the 2019 election, that have always aligned themselves with dictators from Lenin to Fidel Castro, and thus the politics of Hugo Chavez and Jacob Zuma. These “fascists” may have just found themselves a new political home. We wish them well.
NOTE: Gauleiter was the second highest Nazi Party paramilitary rank, subordinate only to the higher rank Reichsleiter and to the position of Führer.
IN THE ongoing war of ideas in which Marxist-Leninism and its offshoots, continue to do battle with advocates of free and open societies such as Martin Luther King, Thomas Jefferson, and Nelson Mandela, what has Julius Malema have to offer?
In a brazen “State of the Nation” address, uncharacteristically published by local newspapers over the weekend*, Malema, who technically cannot stand for parliament whilst under curatorship for mismanaging his own finances, called for mass expropriation of land and property rights. (See Ivo Vegter’s take on this issue here)
“We will pass legislation which will make the state the official and only custodian of all land in South Africa, in a similar way the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act has made the state the custodian of our mineral and petroleum resources.”
Common property ownership has long since been abandoned in China and Russia. In South Africa it would instantaneously turn property-owners into tenants or wards of the state as all citizens suddenly became government employees in a perverse system that myopically fixes the problem of jobs with a stroke of the pen without actually creating any new jobs.
With the state controlling banking in South Africa under Malema, citizens will be expected to hand-over their current accounts to the state for safe-keeping — do we really trust the government to secure our money? Malema however chooses to deflect such criticism in his address, by referring to the “South Korean” banking system and thus may already be in talks to establish his own private investment bank.*
The ANC breakaway faction which has become the EFF party platform has simply adopted a hodge-podge of leftist demands, along with many of the supposedly radical policies of the North Korean dictatorship on the other side of the 38th parallel.
For example, the entire state is divided according to party loyalty. All property is under custodianship of the state. There are no banks to speak of, except for those owned by the state.
The only bank available to citizens is thus the solitary Central Bank which has over 220 branches, all providing exactly the same choice in government banking.
All citizens are therefore effectively under state custodianship, forced into total obedience, and required to hand over their meagre earnings to the state which acts much like an unfit parent would in dispensing resources. North Korea controls its population by withholding food and its agricultural policies have resulted in mass starvation and famine. The systemic, widespread abuses and numerous crimes against humanity are all referred to in a 374-page UN report.
Most disturbing are the lengths to which the dictatorship is willing to go in indoctrinating its population who do not possess the right to freedom of thought. All social activities are controlled by the deformed Workers Party of North Korea.
Startling details of the centralised, command economy of North Korea have emerged, such as the claim that each and every North Korean home has a speaker directly linked to a government propaganda machine.
Reports that children as young as 5 in North Korea are given special political education classes in which they are taught to hate “imperialists” as well as their own parents are rather troubling.
Despite the myriad problems, so poignantly related by images of malnourished children, Julius Malema, who resembles the portly Kim Jong-Un in stature, has already modeled himself on the classic “personality cult” figures once associated with Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Mao Zedong, choosing to brandish a beret and the banner of ‘class warfare against the oppressor‘.
If may be early days, but the comparison with Kim Jong-Un , Pol Pot and other regimes such as the Castro dictatorship in Cuba, in which political education classes resulted in torture camps and political prisons overseen by psychiatric doctors, is not all that far off the mark.
The ANC once had its own system of political detention camps in Zambia. EFF are again taking up the cudgels on behalf of abandoned Marxist-Leninist policies.
THAT the far left Economic Freedom Fighter’s leader Julius Malema has absolutely no clue on how the economy works is best illustrated by his recent comments that ‘nationalised banks would run themselves, and without focusing on maximising profits, would keep their interest rates low so that all South Africans could afford a house and car.” While not going so far as abolishing the central bank or putting an end to usury, Malema sees low interest rates and nationalisation as key factors in ending neoliberal profiteering and the market economy in a heady mix of Marxist rhetoric drawn from failed experiments in state capitalism that saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Block states nearly 25 years ago.
The EFF party manifesto is full of Marxist bluster, calling for the end of private companies and the expansion of the state from its caretaker role, to a more aggressive socialist platform that would essentially result in all forms of economic activity falling under the state purview, with the immediate consequence being the end of individual entrepreneurism.
That state capitalism is enormously bureaucratic and inefficient can be seen in South Africa’s ailing parastatal sector. Both Telkom and Eskom have been beset with problems regarding lack of competition, inefficiency, and inability to cater to consumer demand, with the result these state run corporations are only sustainable via huge bailouts funded by the treasury.
Eskom’s losses are even more startling. The parastatel made a loss of R10.7bn through supplying electricity to Hillside, the bigger of the two aluminium smelters at BHP Billiton and is heading towards a R350bn debt trap. Making losses and providing bailouts to the parastatal sector are the exact kind of thing which Julius Malema and his brand of Malemanomics advocates — it is thus difficult to see any real ideological difference between the current administration and the EFF party, suffice to say that the aegis of parastatals would be increased while individual businesses would be contained, if not abolished.
Instead of ending South Africa’s ‘dirigiste’ experiment with state corporations and the abuse of state capital with the resulting enormous drain on the nation’s coffers, perhaps by providing alternatives such as cooperative and local economic solutions, and an unconditional basic income grant, the EFF seeks to up the ante by embracing the kind of mega-projects and foolish statist policies that reduced East Germany to a drab grey as the country failed to develop economically under Erich Honecker.
Another parastatal, SAA was bailed out to the tune of R550 million this year alone, and while the national airline marquee may bring pride, it certainly does not bring profit. The SA Post Office suffered a net loss of R179 million.
Clue to the thinking behind Malemanomics is the belief that the profit motive is behind South Africa’s super-exploitation of labour. Seeking to address the enormous disparities in income between the lowest paid worker and the highest paid corporate executive, Malemanomics with its logic of retribution and redistribution, would essentially end private ownership of property, turning all land over to the state and ending the willing buyer, willing seller principle. If this doesn’t turn every South African citizen into a tenant of the state, then the party’s lurch to the left could bring the kind of Zanu-PF rule that characterised the collapse in the Zimbabwean economy under Robert Mugabe.
Despite this statist orientation, it is unclear whether Malema will actually go ahead with any of his plans or be able to sustain his own rhetoric and party platform.
“An entrepreneur must be able to do business no matter who is in government. A real businessman doesn’t lose sleep over whether the [National Party], ANC or EFF is in power”, says the former ANC youth leader.
Something needs to be said about the Lonmin Massacre. It is not simply because what we are witnessing recalls so many massacres under the apartheid regime, or that what we are seeing is occurring now under an ANC government. No, what needs to be said is the way foreign markets are dominating the political and social discourse of the Republic.
Having Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the chief authors and negotiators of the South African constitution, at the helm of the board which is overseeing mining operations at the platinum mind, boggles the imagination. How could this happen and why are we not seeing a lot more contrition on the part of those who undoubtedly ordered the use of force?
Equally upsetting is the way the stage is being set by various shareholder groups, for a hostile takover of the resource, pre-empting a possible shift in the body politic.
Can anyone believe Julium Malema, when he says he has the best interests of the miners at heart? Surely what Juju wants is exactly what Cyril has at the moment, access to 80% of the worlds’ supply of platinum. It is a tragic power-play in which workers are being slaughtered because of the markets, while the banks and foreign investors leverage control South Africa’s economy.
One cannot help but think this disaster was in the making began when Juju jetted off to London, only to broker deals which could give him the upper hand in the incipient battle over leadership of a political movement which is showing signs of being nothing more than an excuse to command investment and interest rates, the kind of rough capitalism which has always managed to colonise Africa to the detriment of the poor.
Somebody must have given the order to shoot, as too, the government offical or party oligarchs who are now spin-doctoring, denying culpability while presumably granting Malema access to the Lonmin compound. Providing platforms for political speeches has always been the method of choice of the global illuminati and bilderburgers who control the Earth’s mineral wealth and who will resort to any means necessary to secure their investment.
This time, there is nobody who can accuse the capitalists of being racists, what they are, are plain old capitalists, and with Cyril involved, we can only presume to know how much money has been wagered on the operation.