The best of South African literature
The FF+ has lodged an objection against the registration of EFF as a political party. Pieter Groenewald and Floyd Shivambu debate the issue.
Julius Malema’s brash politics undermine the country and will incite violence, says Pieter Groenewald.
The constitution of South Africa was written to offer protection and freedom within the guidelines of the law to all residents of the country. When it is clear that someone is acting in contravention of this, the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) will be neglecting its duty if it does not strongly object to it.
The Electoral Commission Act (51 of 1996) clearly stipulates in section 16 all the requirements that a political party has to meet before such a party’s registration is accepted and the party is allowed to participate in the election process.
The FF+ is of the opinion that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) do not meet these requirements. This is why the party has requested the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to prohibit the registration of Julius Malema’s EFF party from taking place.
Section 16(1)(c) of the Electoral Commission Act states that any proposed name, distinguishing mark or symbol or the constitution of the party or the deed of foundation which portrays the propagation or incitement of violence or hatred, or which causes serious offence to any section of the population on grounds of race, gender, sex, ethnic origin, colour, religion, culture or language, is prohibited from registration.
The EFF proposes the nationalisation of land, mines, banks and other assets without compensation and, in particular, on a racial basis. It is unconstitutional.
Malema has already been found guilty in the high court of hate speech by singing Shoot The Boer, which has subsequently been declared to be hate speech.
By singing the song, Malema created racial polarisation and incited emotions against a specific ethnic group, which is unconstitutional. To date, Malema has not shown any remorse.
The FF+ believes he will continue his unconstitutional actions and that he will abuse his party as a vehicle for similar discriminating actions and policy directions.
In a debate on television (August 21), in which I participated, the representative of the EFF said their policy states that they “will fight white supremacy and fight to take the land back that whites had stolen”.
To say that whites had “stolen” the land is, to say the least, offensive towards whites and creates racial polarisation.
In the founding manifesto of the EFF, it describesitself in the section titled “Character of the EFF”, as follows:
“The Economic Freedom Fighters is a radical and militant economic emancipation movement that brings together revolutionary, fearless, radical, and militant activists”.
In the same founding manifesto it states that it wants political power to transform the economy for the emancipation of black South Africans.
It is clear that racial polarisation will prevail according to this manifesto.
In addition, the word “fighters” is not suited for a democratic system where political parties compete in elections in an orderly and democratic fashion.
Everybody who is now joining the fray in defence of Malema’s rights and freedoms is conveniently forgetting that it was precisely a court which had intervened to restrict his unbridled freedom of speech by finding him guilty of hate speech following his Shoot the Boer song.
Within the framework of the law, there are clear restrictions as to what is constitutionally permissible, and Malema’s comments and his racist policy directions are crossing the same boundaries as the singing of his offending song, which portrays the incitement of violence or hatred.
With regard to property rights, the FF+ sticks to its opinion that the EFF’s policy is unconstitutional as it boils down to expropriation without compensation. It is clearly unconstitutional in terms of the constitution.
The constitution sets restrictions to protect the integrity of communities, including their cultural and economic integrity.
The policy of racially based redistribution will, in addition, collapse the country’s economy and will have disastrous consequences for the country and all its residents.
With regards to the English abbreviation of the party’s name, the FF+ has various examples where voters and the media have confused the FF+ with the EFF.
Concerning our objection to the word “fighters”, we are of the opinion that it is ill-considered to couple such a violent term to a party’s name, especially seen in the light of Malema’s proven background of hate speech which gives the concept a loaded meaning.
The IEC was established precisely because it has to take decisions about participation in elections. It cannot register a party which wants to undermine the constitution. All authority bodies are subject to the constitution. The EFF has the right to appeal to the electoral court if its registration is refused, or to adapt its manifesto and name according to the guidelines of the act.
The majority of the people in South Africa want to live in peace and safety, want good work, good schools and to have hope for the future. Our constitution is not perfect, but it is a framework which tries to realise this.
Malema and the EFF undermine the constitution in spirit and deed and it predicts nothing good for the country’s future.
* Pieter Groenewald is the chairman of the Freedom Front Plus.
IEC must dismiss gimmicks of a party seeking legitimising white supremacy, says Floyd Shivambu.
The Freedom Front Plus, a right-wing white supremacist and reactionary political formation, represented in South Africa’s Parliament and part of the ANC-led government, has lodged a formal objection to the registration of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as a political party.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will decide on whether its objection is valid or not.
The FF+ is calling for the banning of the EFF due to its policies to realise economic justice and equal distribution of land. But the main area of concern and focus is continued white supremacy, which the ANC and all political parties seem to have accommodated and accepted as natural in South Africa since 1994.
The EFF is confident that a sober IEC will dismiss the ludicrous, attention-seeking gimmicks of the FF+, whose foundation as a political party in 1994 was a racist demand that Boers/Afrikaners should be separated from South Africa into an independent state – a Volkstaat for themselves only. The FF+ still holds those ideals, because it believes that its ideas and identity are sacrosanct and should not be challenged by those they stole land from.
They have now realised that with the ANC in government, white supremacy can continue through unequal access to economic opportunities, particularly land, hence they are in government together.
Also the FF+ represents a large section of colonisers and settlers who savagely raped South Africa’s land and natural resources, and refused to share the land and wealth with the legitimate owners.
It is not surprising that the FF+ would opt for banning the economic emancipation movement, the EFF, because it demands the reclamation of the land they illegally occupy.
It is not a permanent reality that colonisers and settlers continue to occupy the land they stole from the black majority. The EFF as a government in waiting is making a clarion call that the stolen land should be restored to its rightful owners.
The objection by the FF+ confirms that South Africa’s political status quo is legitimising and legalising white supremacy, massive inequalities and unequal distribution of wealth. White supremacists do not want to see the legalised inequalities and poverty of the African majority altered because they are major beneficiaries. The FF+ objection reflects that while components of racist legislation were abolished with the adoption of a new constitution, the essence of an unequal society remains intact, with no immediate possibility that such will change unless those in political office are changed and removed from office for lack of direction and decisiveness.
The fact that a supremacist, segregationist and racist political formation in the form of the FF+ can gain the confidence to object to a political movement that seeks to alter the basis of South Africa’s inequalities and accumulation path is evidence that white supremacy has triumphed over the interests of the people.
The fact that the FF+ wants the EFF to be banned illustrates that the murderous ideology of colonial and apartheid conquest continues to characterise those who are benefiting from the political system. South Africa has just replaced political office bearers in 1994, and retained white supremacy and apartheid subjugation of the majority.
The majority of South Africans were promised access to land, wealth and opportunities since 1994, and none of those have happened due to the political authorities’ mediocrity, directionlessness and lack of ability to decide.
Instead of a decisive land redistribution mechanism and system, the ANC government, working alongside right-wing political formations in the form of the National Party and now the FF+, have reproduced the massive inequalities and poverty that were created and intensified by the colonial conquest, and apartheid subjugation of the black majority.
None of the political parties in Parliament have advocated radical change in economic policy, as if there were nothing wrong with the status quo. All political formations contest on the basis of who is ideologically further far right than the other, touting same ideological dispositions and now a common neo-liberal programme called the National Development Plan.
So, this confirms the EFF’s position that the current political parties and movements are homogeneous, therefore depriving the majority of people space for democratic participation.
There is no difference between the ANC, DA, Inkatha Freedom Party, Cope, FF+ and other parties in Parliament as they do not say anything different to one another.
This is the basis on which the EFF, a radical and militant economic emancipation movement, is called into action as a true liberator and representative of millions of South Africans.
The EFF aims to deconstruct the racist, unequal and imbalanced nature of South Africa’s economic conditions and property relations. South Africans cannot wait any longer, as this country is in a deeper crisis with no hope of recovery under the political parties in Parliament.
Since 1994, all political parties have dismally failed to come up with a coherent, workable and responsive legislative framework that should lead to land redistribution. Instead of employing alternate radical means of land redistribution, these political parties have shifted the goal posts to 2030, planning to redistribute only 30 percent of land by 2030.
* Floyd Shivambu is commissar for political education, policy and research for the Economic Freedom Fighters.
** The views expressed here are niot necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.