Our latest contribution to the universe of ideological hot air is the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), red beret and all.
Variously known as their Commander-in-Chief or President, our own Julius Malema has managed to gather a group of ex -ANC non-luminaries around him in the formation of the EFF. Because I know that my blogs are read by rather prudish individuals I will fight the urge to mention the other renditions of the EFF initials.
Initially I did not pay too much attention to the rumours that Mr Malema was thinking of forming a new political grouping, even less to the idea that this would become a political party. After all, was it not the same gentleman who dramatically declared that his blood is green, black and yellow.
Judging from the colour of his beret in picture above, it seems that somebody finally pointed out to him that actually comrade, our blood is a rather different colour. It actually looks more like…well red!
The EFF was launched on July 11 2013 in Johannesburg and Mr Malema is quoted as saying:“If we resolve that we are going to contest elections, be guaranteed that we will be the government,” A final decision will be made on the weekend of 27 July, but judging from the EFF followers on Twitter and Facebook this is a done deal.
They are already celebrating their victory in 2014 and are telling all of us what we should expect once they are in government. Real “…radical left, anticapitalist and anti-imperialist…” and non-negotiable policies will drive their election campaign. Nationalisation of the mining and financial sectors will be right front and centre and the expropriation of land without compensation will finally become a reality in South Africa.
Of course Mr Malema had his own recent taste of the expropriation (via auction) of his various properties and can therefore speak authoritatively on the subject. He will only face small little challenge: he was paid (or rather SARS) for his properties.
Nonetheless, the EFF is making pretty impressive claims: it will be the government in 2014 and will implement its non-negotiable policies immediately after the swearing in of President Julius Sello Malema.
Their enemies, of whom there are many and powerful ones at that, have scoffed at the very idea that Mr Malema will be able to pull of such an audacious and miraculous act as unseating the African National Congress. As for myself I have learned to scoff at the idea only once I have carefully assessed the foolishness or otherwise thereof.
So what are the EFF’s chances really?
In my view the first thing that their think-tank would have thought about is the fact that they would need to chance the Constitution to do all the “non-negotiable” things. Unless they can do that their policies will remain expressions of intent and nice electioneering material and nothing more than that.
Of course we all know that our Constitution is a pretty solid piece of legislation and in order to change the really important bits and pieces of it a two thirds majority of the members of Parliament is required. Let me make it very clear. It is not just the members who bother to turn up on the day, but all those who are members of parliament will be counted.
The EFF will therefore have to garner more than 70% of all of the votes in the 2014 general election.
What does this mean in real terms?
It means that the ANC will have to suffer complete and utter destruction. In fact they would have to fail to register for the elections and therefore not have the lovely face of our President on the ballot paper.
Of course the DA would also have to suffer an unusual reversal of fortune and shed voters in the Western Cape in particular to the EFF.
In addition every single one of the 3 million or so new voters will have to vote for the EFF.
So I asked myself: What are the chances of this perfect storm happening.
I answered myself: a snow ball’s hope in a 1000 degree Celsius furnace is about the best odds I would give it.
Not great odds if you are going to raise the expectations of the poor to the levels of hysteria over the next few months.
So, if anybody asks you whether you think EFF will be the ruling party in 2014 then your answer can only be: only if both the ANC and DA are banned from participating in the elections and of course you see little pink elephants and pigs flying in formation over Johannesburg.
Will that happen?
I think not.