It would now seem to be common cause that the EFF operates as the ANC’s political conscience, essentially forcing it into key positions through external pressure. Expropriation without compensation has become a defining metaphor for this sentiment. However, what is not understood is why the ANC has reacted in the manner it has to the pressure applied to the EFF. If expropriation without compensation is indeed the political dynamite the EFF claims it is, then you would think the party, being the champion of the idea in its most radical form, would also be experiencing a huge surge in support as, presumably, expropriation without compensation resonates powerfully with voters; hence the ANC’s acquiescence. But an analysis of the EFF’s performance in all 37 by-elections to be held in 2018 — all since Cyril Ramaphosa took over both the ANC and South African presidency in December — suggests no significant growth for the EFF. What follows is an in-depth analysis of the EFF’s by-election p...

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