So what is the EFF, really? This is a confusing and complex puzzle. For example, in its founding document — The Seven Non-Negotiable Pillars of the EFF — it describes itself as, among other things, a radical, militant, leftist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, economic emancipation movement with an internationalist outlook, and one that draws inspiration from the broad Marxist-Leninist tradition and Fanonian school of thought. That is quite a mouthful, but elsewhere the EFF describes its purpose a little more succinctly."We must all live by this book, including parliament and all political formations," EFF leader Julius Malema said in 2016, holding up the SA constitution, "because this is our bible and without it we are nothing." But, for all that, democratic SA’s founding document does not feature once in the EFF’s own constitution. Instead, it says the party’s objective is "to capture political and state power through whatever revolutionary means possible".

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