As the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) reflects on its decade-long rise to become the third largest political party in South Africa, the red berets have pegged its stance on unseating the ANC from power, and even more so on Cyril Ramaphosa’s removal as the nation’s President.
As part of the build-up to a massive rally planned to celebrate the EFF’s anniversary this weekend, its deputy president Floyd Shivambu sat for a candid conversation with Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh to unpack the currents of South African politics and addressed the elephant in the room - the fate of President Ramaphosa.
Addressing the question of whether Ramaphosa would still hold the reins of power after the next elections, Shivambu said if a coalition government was to emerge, they were not willing to negotiate on Ramaphosa continuing as president.
“If the ANC takes an arrogant attitude after the 2024 elections and says it's Ramaphosa or nothing, then they will get nothing,” he said.
He said, ideally, the ANC would receive below 50% of the votes in the 2024 national general election, and all opposition political parties, irrespective of ideological positions and dispositions, would unite to take the ANC out of power completely.
However, he said first prize would be to completely “unplug” the ANC from government.
“(The ANC) are too dependant on government, and once we unplug them, they will be insignificant.
“We need to unplug them completely and from everywhere. We must recall all their ambassadors, remove all their appointments, unplug them from power in every aspect of society, remove police commissioners and army generals, and properly surgically remove them from power. That is what we should do as opposition parties,” he said.
However, Shivambu added that they believed there was a different agenda emerging, believed to be coordinated by the Oppenheimer family that speaks to isolate the EFF and target the party as an enemy force.
“The Oppenheimers plan political transitions in South Africa. That core of Anglo-American have always played a central role in the politics of South Africa,” he said.
While the DA and ActionSA have received large sums of donations from the Oppenheimers, Shivambu said that proved their dominance in the country’s political sphere.
“The EFF is an independent organisation. Once we agree as a collective that this is what we are going to do, we do exactly that. There is no one to change that decision. No one controls this organisation, other than its elected leaders.
“The Oppenheimers are correctly concerned about the rise of the EFF. When we take power, we are going to reverse their dominance, reclaim the land, mineral resources, and redistribute the South African economy in a way that will empower all,” Shivambu said.
As the EFF celebrates its 10th anniversary, Shivambu reflected on the party's evolution over the past decade, its triumphs and challenges, and its vision for the future.
He said that since its inception 10 years ago, the EFF had a plan and strategy that has seen them rise in the last decade. Shivambu said that strategy included aiming to receive at least four million votes in next year’s election and, by 2029, win the majority votes to take the lead in government.