The EFF is not the ultimate horror

Douglas Gibson

Douglas Gibson

Published Feb 20, 2024


Douglas Gibson

Some voters think the EFF is the ultimate horror. The “Commander-in-Chief”, Julius Malema, has a motor mouth that persuades some people that the EFF will be the next government, or at least in a coalition.

He wants the ANC to get rid of Cyril Ramaphosa, and replace him with that paragon of integrity, Paul Mashatile. Julius, a veteran of the VBS scandal, would be the deputy president. Premier Panyaza Lesufi, the publicity hound, inflicted just such a coalition on Johannesburg. That would be the ultimate horror – a coalition of the ANC and the EFF.

One wonders if the Patriotic Alliance (PA) of Gayton McKenzie and Kenny Kunene, both with colourful backgrounds, would join in that ultimate horror, even though the supporters of the PA are anti-ANC and anti-EFF.

McKenzie has been known to say some sensible things. An example is his view of the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Another example, he said Malema was the “biggest threat facing South Africa”. This was based partly on the EFF’s policies on land expropriation and nationalisation.

He accused Malema of not being a real revolutionary, a “false prophet” whose promises would take South Africa to civil war, and someone who had “stolen” significant amounts of public money during his political climb. Has McKenzie changed his mind about Julius?

They are co-habiting in some local government coalitions, negotiated by the ANC/EFF, giving the PA executive positions and municipal official appointments, without principles or governing guidelines. That is a poor basis for good governance and proper service delivery.

Gayton McKenzie does not have the same inferiority complex as Malema. Julius feels inferior to liberally-minded English-speaking white people. He declared that he prefers Afrikaners who openly despise him. Imagine him as South Africa’s deputy president, courtesy of Mashatile and Lesufi.

The PA proved to be an unreliable coalition partner of the DA, but surely it belongs on the side of the Multi-Party Charter, rather than propping up the EFF/ANC? McKenzie should think again about where the PA belongs.

Several others should join since their main principles and those of the MPC seem the same. Parties like Rise Mzansi serve merely to cannibalise the DA. The same applies to Bosa, Mmusi Maimane’s new party.

And if Roger Jardine’s party, Change Starts Now, exists (it has been almost invisible since the two-week splash treatment by the Sunday Times a few months ago), the same applies to it.

As the ANC edges ever closer to losing its majority, it is losing its head. Thus, the appalling decision to send SG Fear F**ol Mbalula to a conference in Russia, consorting with North Korea, Iran, and a swathe of anti-democracies, while discussing stopping colonialism and opposing the West. Naledi Pandor, meanwhile, leads a delegation to the US to curry favour.

Ramaphosa also resorts to lies, frightening old age pensioners and grant dependants (17 million of them), that the grants come from the ANC (not you and me, the taxpayers) and that if the ANC is out of power, these will all stop.

That is but one of the despicable untruths he and some of those surrounding him, including some fingered in the Zondo report, hope to activate “Wit gevaar”, just like some did in the bad old days, when “Swart gevaar” was fashionable.

The only viable option is clear. We need to get together, not fragment into insignificance. Avoid the horror of an ANC/EFF coalition; vote for the DA or for one of its Multi-Party Charter partners.

Douglas Gibson is a former opposition chief whip and a former ambassador to Thailand.

The Star