Leader Julius Malema has branded himself commander-in-chief of imaginary forces or combatants. He is well known for hurling insults, dating from the time he was the ANC Youth League leader. The ANCYL is dealing with huge legal bills as a consequence of Malema’s indiscriminate insults.
Recently,AfriForum won a hate speech case against the EFF. The court ordered the EFF to pay it more than R100 000. AfriForum recently threatened to attach the property of the red berets for not honouring the court order. The EFF pretends the court ruling does not affect them.
Professor Anton Harber and Thandeka Gqubule have taken the EFF to court over offensive comments it made suggesting the two respected journalists were apartheid-era Stratcom spies. Harber and Gqubule want the courts to compel the EFF to retract its statements.
The EFF accused former finance minister Trevor Manuel of nepotism. It said Manuel was related to the recently appointed South African Revenue Services boss. Manuel approached the courts and won the defamation case, with the court ordering that the “revolutionary” EFF pay him R500 000.
Malema is also in and out of court for encouraging people to illegally occupy land and erect shacks there.
EFF Gauteng chairperson Mandisa Mashigo is accusing Paul Mashatile, Lebogang Maile and his brother Mike Maile of stealing money from the Alexandra Renewal Projects. We will see if the EFF will be able to provide evidence of its claim. It is interesting to note that the claims were made only after Alexandra residents took to the streets to raise their dissatisfaction about their living conditions.
There is also a legal war ahead between Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the EFF, a matter that is before court.
The EFF and the DA labelled Busisiwe Mkhwebane a spy shortly after she was appointed public protector. Now that she is attacking Gordhan, the EFF has changed its tune about Mkhwebane, since it wants to use her important institution to achieve its narrow political ends.
It will continue to lose millions of rand on account of its political immaturity, as witnessed by its insults and baseless accusations. The red berets are trying to appease their followers and are putting themselves under pressure by trying too hard to be more revolutionary than any other party. The tactic is not sustainable.
The EFF, together with other political parties in Parliament, should seek to inculcate a spirit of tolerance and unity because they represent all South Africans. We want to see the EFF proposing policies that will help the new Cabinet deal with unemployment, crime, “landlessness” and all immediate issues confronting South Africa. Our people are dying of hunger, suffer shortages or a lack of medication, and abuse of drugs and alcohol is endemic.
The time and money the EFF uses to defend its leaders in courts could better be used to change the lives of many people. We need our leaders to unite the divided country, not sow needless further division, and thereby hopefully ensure that the ideals of a rainbow nation are achieved.
Kenneth Mokgatlhe is a political commentator and media practitioner
The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Independent Media.