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EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu’s continued smearing of the National Treasury’s deputy director-general, Ismail Momoniat, is as Parliament’s standing committee on finance has commented, baseless and crude. The more interesting question is why the EFF is targeting Momoniat particularly and what is behind its larger effort at racial incitement. The EFF claims racial incitement is not its goal and that racial rectification is. But in fact the party plays a dangerous game with race, trying to pretend it’s not racially categorising while at the same time signalling to its supporters that it is. Internationally, this phenomenon is known as "dog-whistle politics", since the politician is making sounds only a section of his audience will hear.

The EFF statement on Shivambu’s outburst in the standing committee is a good example. The statement says: "The Economic Freedom Fighters reasserts the statement made in the standing committee on finance by the EFF deputy president that National Tr...

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