Sikonathi Mantshantsha Deputy editor: Financial Mail
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES

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It’s an interesting place, this land of ours. Just as we relieve ourselves of the national embarrassment that is Jacob Zuma, who delivered state and country on a platter to his friends from India, we take a big leap and immediately embark on another dark journey from which there will be no return.

On this ruinous route, one on which our neighbour Zimbabwe is far in front of us, we are being led by a party that has long surrendered its role as leader of society. The ANC, not satisfied with having surrendered control to the small Gupta family, has now again surrendered control to a small political party led by a man whose weapon is to threaten violence against his enemies — real and imaginary. Naked racism is his bigger and more lethal weapon.

Not only have Julius Malema and his EFF led the successful attempt to banish Zuma to his Nkandla compound, but they have also led parliament to adopt easily the most damaging policy position in the form of land expropriation without compensation. And this is the third-largest party in parliament.

Having sensed it is totally in control of the majority party, the EFF is now planning to install an ANC member as mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. And its only excuse for removing the current mayor, the DA’s Athol Trollip, is that he is a white man.

I don’t know about the rest of the people, but when I went to bed on August 3 in 2016, Trollip was already a white man. He still was a white man when the EFF helped elect him mayor three weeks later. No matter. It is now time for the EFF to remove him.

Who cares about the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and their service delivery? It is a small matter that they have rejected the same ANC, whose corruption totally crippled their city.

For allowing itself to be dragged into the politics of hate, the ANC will be the first casualty
Sikonathi Mantshantsha

The EFF is not interested in restoring land to the indigenous people of SA. Its only goal is total power. For that power it is prepared not only to destroy communities and cities, but anything that stands in its way. In less-than-subtle hints, Malema has long told us what he thinks of sections of society that, in his mind, can be an obstacle to his total consolidation of power. Rwanda has been through this.

"The white man has been too comfortable for too long," Malema told a crowd of supporters outside the Newcastle magistrate’s court in November 2016. He was appearing in the court on charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act by calling for the town’s landless residents to occupy municipal-owned land. He went on to lecture, quite accurately, on historical facts about our ugly and violent past, the dispossession of Africans by whites. Then he added this bomb: "We are not calling for the slaughter of white people, at least for now."

‘Just’ a metaphor

Fast forward to this month. In his call for Trollip’s removal as mayor, Malema took his slaughter narrative a step further: "We are cutting the throat of whiteness." Of course, Malema’s supporters argue that this graphic language against a section of the population is "just" a metaphor, which it may very well be. Except, it comes from a man who has already been convicted of hate speech not so long ago.

Nongqawuse, a 19th-century niece of Mhlakaza, a Xhosa inyanga, had a similar vision. Hers was supposed to blow the white man into the Indian Ocean. The Xhosa have never recovered from that tragedy.

The ANC has now also fallen into the EFF’s trick of power at any cost. Its marriage of convenience with the EFF, like that of the DA, will end terribly for all society. It would be too naive to expect any political party to turn down the opportunity of assuming power, even if the devil himself handed it to them on a silver platter.