Johannesburg - A defiant Julius Malema has unveiled radical draft policies that seek to turn South Africa into a socialist country in the mould of Cuba and Venezuela.
Promising to lead service delivery protests, the expelled ANC Youth League president said his party would contest elections on a socialist ticket and “non-negotiable principles”.
This included the expropriation of land without compensation, the nationalisation of banks and mines without compensation, as well as the fight against imperialism and white monopoly capital.
He promised to build a coalition of like-minded parties, civil society movements, church leaders and trade unions to take over South Africa.
The broad movement would also fight “white supremacy”, restore the dignity of blacks and “make it warm” outside the ANC.
The firebrand also unveiled the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) interim national and provincial leaderships, led by himself and national co-ordinator Mpho Ramakatsa, known as the “central command team”.
The national leadership includes actor Fana Mokoena and businessman Kenny Kunene.
The official launch of the EFF comes three years after Malema visited his idol, late Venezuelan president and socialist leader Hugo Chavez, to learn about nationalisation.
Insisting he was prepared to suffer the consequences, Malema said he would be guided by the Freedom Charter rather than “your liberal constitution” in his push for social justice and redress.
He dismissed the constitution as the “product of negotiations and compromises” rather than the will of the people.
Malema reiterated that the EFF would not collaborate with the DA because “our enemy number one is white monopoly capital, and it’s supported by the DA”.
DA national spokesman Mmusi Maimane this week told The Star his party was not interested in working with Malema anyway because of his moral, credibility and accountability “deficit”.
Malema said while his movement’s policies would be decided by the national assembly to be held in Soweto at the end of the month, draft policies included the expropriation of land; nationalisation; free education, health care and housing; cracking down on corruption; as well as industrialisation and the introduction of minimum wages to close the gap between rich and poor.
The EFF’s values and principles included non-racialism, transparency, accountability, equality and multi- party democracy, he added.
“We are going to be a government-in-waiting. We will take over South Africa and will usher in the demands of our people. We will fight against white supremacy and for the restoration of black African dignity. Our people should feel comfortable again that this is their soil,” Malema maintained.
He added that white South Africans should be prepared to share land and wealth because, not being prepared to share, “you are going to be forced to share”.
Malema said he expected capitalists to respond “harshly” to the EFF’s launch, but he was ready for this. He ruled out the possibility of working with or returning to the ANC, saying the party was now a shadow of its former self.
“Comrades, people have said it’s cold outside the ANC. They are correct … but we are making it warm outside the ANC. The political will to liberate our people from economic oppression is what drives us. We will shout economic freedom from the cells if needs be,” he added.
Malema insisted that not even the seizure of his properties and assets would deter him. “Let them take everything else. They will take the last thing, and then what?”
He said anyone found guilty of corruption would never lead any of the EFF’s structures.
Ramakatsa said the ANC’s time was up because the ruling party had failed to deliver beyond political freedom.
He dismissed claims that Malema was too compromised to lead a party, given the corruption charges he faced. He said “comrade Julius is not guilty until found guilty by a court of law”. It was surprising that the state had charged Malema for corruption but left those he had been accused of corrupting, he added.