EFF cel­e­brates fourth birth­day

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS -

THE EFF turned four yes­ter­day and took its birth­day cel­e­bra­tions to Durban, KwaZu­luNatal.

The red berets were led by fire­brand politi­cian, Julius Malema, a for­mer ANC Youth League (ANCYL) pres­i­dent ex­pelled by the gov­ern­ing party along with, then spokesper­son, Floyd Shivambu.

The party was formed at a gath­er­ing at­tended by over 1 000 del­e­gates in Soweto in July 2013. The EFF’s main aim is to fight for the eco­nomic eman­ci­pa­tion of the coun­try’s ma­jor­ity and the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

Malema ar­rived in Durban this week to mo­bilise for the birth­day cel­e­bra­tions, to be held at Cur­ries Foun­tain on Satur­day. On Tues­day, Malema ad­dressed stu­dents at Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Natal Westville cam­pus and a com­mu­nity gath­er­ing in Clare­mont.

A year af­ter its for­ma­tion, the EFF went on to win 6% of the na­tional vote in the 2014 gen­eral elec­tions, has 25 MPs rep­re­sent­ing it in Par­lia­ment and oth­ers in pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tures and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Red berets have be­come syn­ony­mous with the EFF, whose MPs favour don­ning work­ing-class at­tire such as over­alls, hard hats and pinafores, shun­ning Par­lia­ment’s for­mal dress code worn by other po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The EFF had ar­gued be­fore the rules com­mit­tee that it was given a man­date by over one mil­lion vot­ers to wear clothes rep­re­sent­ing the work­ing class.

Fol­low­ing last year’s highly con­tested lo­cal elec­tions, the party emerged as the king­maker, help­ing the DA to un­seat the ANC in three met­ros – Joburg, Tsh­wane and Nel­son Man­dela Bay, in the Eastern Cape.

EFF was at the fore­front of a cam­paign by op­po­si­tion par­ties to get Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to pay back some of the mil­lions of rand spent on his Nkandla home se­cu­rity up­grades.

The mat­ter came to a cli­max when the Con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled last year that Zuma had failed to re­spect and uphold the con­sti­tu­tion, and the Na­tional As­sem­bly was com­pla­cent in not hold­ing him ac­count­able.

The court in­structed the Trea­sury to de­ter­mine the amount that Zuma should pay back into state cof­fers.

The pres­i­dent had pre­vi­ously re­fused to pay, ar­gu­ing that then-pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela’s rec­om­men­da­tions, con­tained in her Nkandla re­port, were merely rec­om­men­da­tions and, there­fore, not bind­ing.

Malema had his court bat­tles lodged by the SA Rev­enue Ser­vices (Sars) over un­paid taxes and fail­ure to reg­is­ter his Ratanang Fam­ily Trust for tax pur­poses.

Sub­se­quently, the rev­enue col­lec­tor at­tached some of Malema’s prop­er­ties to re­coup mil­lions in taxes.

The EFF leader has ac­cused Sars of pur­su­ing a “po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated” case against him. Malema in­sists he hon­oured an agree­ment with Sars to pay out­stand­ing taxes.

The case is yet to be con­cluded. – ANA

MPs favour don­ning work­ing­class at­tire

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