The EFF marked its 10-year anniversary with a grand celebration at the FNB stadium over the weekend, symbolising the country’s evolving democracy.
Founded by former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema on July 26, 2013, the event drew a massive crowd, filling the stadium’s 95000 capacity.
Malema’s impressive oratory skills were on full display, making the occasion an appealing and extravagant affair.
The climax of the celebration was a dramatic moment when Malema was lifted into the air on stage, much to the delight of the enthusiastic audience, who had travelled from all corners of the country to receive their commander-in-chief’s marching orders.
Regardless of one’s political stance on the EFF, it is essential to recognise that the existence of diverse political organisations is vital for the progress of the country’s democratic culture.
Despite facing significant economic and social challenges, South Africa’s citizens enjoy the freedom to associate with political parties of their choice without fear of violence or imprisonment, setting them apart from totalitarian regimes.
The ability of an opposition party to hold a rally without any incidents is a remarkable testament to the maturing democratic culture in the country.
Contrasting this with situations in other countries, like Zimbabwe, where opposition parties struggle to organise because of security threats, highlights the significance of political tolerance and freedom in South Africa.
As the country approaches a crucial election next year, it is important to hope for continued political tolerance among various parties. However, there are concerning signs, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, where killings of councillors persist.
Ntombenhle Mchunu, a National Freedom Party councillor from Nongoma Local Municipality in northern KZN, became the latest victim of political violence when she was shot dead while sleeping at her home.
Nonhlanhla Zungu, another councillor from the same municipality, also faced an attack after receiving death threats. These incidents underscore the need for all stakeholders in KZN to unite to prevent political killings from becoming a feature of next year’s polls.
Eradicating such violence from our political landscape must be an urgent priority for the sake of the nation’s well-being.