HOW EFF SWAPPED SIDES IN 2018

CityPress - - News - NGWAKO MODJADJI [email protected]­press.co.za

While Julius Malema’s EFF is pat­ting it­self on the back for set­ting the na­tional agenda this year, par­tic­u­larly on the is­sue of ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion, 2018 has been noted for high­light­ing the party’s chameleon-style pol­i­tics.

Much like its enig­matic leader, Malema, the fiveyear-old party won the gov­er­nance of the stu­dent lead­er­ship at sev­eral ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions this year, but let down many when its name came up as one of the loot­ers of the VBS bank.

The EFF has lived up to the say­ing that there are no per­ma­nent friends in pol­i­tics.

It changed its pos­ture sev­eral times on Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Pravin Gordhan, for­mer SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane and its coali­tion part­ners the DA.

The red berets ral­lied be­hind Gordhan pre­vi­ously when he was un­der pres­sure from for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, his sup­port­ers and the Hawks. But, things changed quickly this year when the EFF de­clared Gordhan an en­emy and de­manded that he step down.

Last month the EFF re­vealed that its plan was to “crush Gordhan’s cor­rup­tion”, which in­volved white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal.said: ‘We are not go­ing to al­low “There was never love be­tween the EFF and Pravin. We were deal­ing with Zuma’s cor­rup­tion, which he wanted to speed up dur­ing the re­moval of Pravin. We you, [Zuma].’ We suc­cess­fully re­moved him,” Malema said.

But the wran­gle be­tween Gordhan and the EFF deep­ened when they opened coun­ter­charges against each other at the Brook­lyn po­lice sta­tion in Pre­to­ria. Gordhan laid charges of in­cite­ment of vi­o­lence and crim­i­nal defama­tion against Malema. The EFF opened a case of money laun­der­ing, cor­rup­tion, rack­e­teer­ing, fraud, con­tra­ven­tion of the Na­tional Strate­gic In­tel­li­gence Act and the Pre­ven­tion and Com­bat­ing of Cor­rupt Ac­tiv­i­ties Act and per­jury.

There was a fall­out be­tween the EFF and DA when the DA op­posed the red berets’ mo­tion of ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

The Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces had al­ready agreed that sec­tion 25 of the Con­sti­tu­tion be amended to make ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion more ex­plicit. Ten­sion be­tween the EFF and DA was ev­i­dent also when the red berets de­fended out­go­ing Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia De Lille fol­low­ing months of em­bit­tered mud-sling­ing with the DA.

The EFF lashed out at the DA, say­ing: “South Africans must re­alise the DA for what it is, an ar­ro­gant, white mas­culin­ist, sex­ist and un­law­ful po­lit­i­cal party.”

The mar­riage of con­ve­nience be­tween the EFF and the DA suf­fered se­ri­ous cracks af­ter the red berets re­moved a DA mayor they were in­stru­men­tal in in­stalling. Nel­son Man­dela Bay mayor Athol Trol­lip was even­tu­ally re­moved in Au­gust.

Malema had threat­ened ear­lier that the EFF would “cut the throat of white­ness”. This clearly demon­strates how the EFF switched sides sev­eral times this year. There was a time that the EFF and DA marched side by side against the ANC. But their al­liance has soured, with the DA open­ing crim­i­nal cases against Malema and his deputy over the VBS Mu­tual Bank scan­dal.

But the DA knows that it has got a lot to lose if its re­la­tion­ship with the EFF comes to an end. It was the EFF that played a vi­tal role in crown­ing DA may­ors in Tsh­wane, Jo­han­nes­burg and Nel­son Man­dela Bay fol­low­ing the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in 2016.

Other than Trol­lip, Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga nearly paid the price af­ter the EFF pro­posed a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against him in Au­gust.

In jus­ti­fy­ing its de­ci­sion, the EFF said Msi­manga was in­com­pe­tent and a cow­ard in the face of a racist white cau­cus. The EFF was an­gered by Msi­manga’s in­abil­ity to im­ple­ment poli­cies such as in-sourc­ing work­ers. The DA-led met­ros, Tsh­wane and Jo­han­nes­burg, have now ac­ceded to the EFF’s de­mand to in-source work­ers.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane trod care­fully when asked this week about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween his party and the EFF.

“The DA has con­sis­tently up­held that the ANC has de­stroyed our econ­omy. Our view al­ways has been that it is bet­ter to re­move the ANC out of met­ros so that we can bring our agenda for change. This is why we work with the EFF. We don’t play per­son­al­i­ties,” Maimane told City Press.

He said Gordhan and Moy­ane were part of the ANC that mis­man­aged the coun­try’s econ­omy.

“We will need to bring change that brings one South Africa for all.”

The EFF raised eye­brows when it re­jected the de­ci­sion by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Moy­ane as Sars com­mis­sioner. It viewed the de­ci­sion as Ramaphosa’s gen­eral war against black pro­fes­sion­als.

But, stun­ningly, in March the EFF wel­comed the sus­pen­sion of Moy­ane, say­ing it would wel­come a new head of Sars to re­build the cred­i­bil­ity of the in­sti­tu­tion.

Ramaphosa axed Moy­ane last month af­ter ac­cept­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion of the Sars com­mis­sion of in­quiry by the chair­per­son, re­tired judge Robert Nu­gent, that Moy­ane be sacked.

In a year of chang­ing sides, the EFF’s claim as cor­rup­tion busters took a knock when a forensic re­port by ad­vo­cate Terry Mo­tau showed that mil­lions had flown into the ac­counts of Brian Shivambu, Floyd Shivambu’s brother, earn­ing them the moniker of “VBS loot­ers”.

As South Africa goes into the gen­eral elec­tions next year, the am­bi­tious party and its lead­ers, par­tic­u­larly Malema, al­ready see them­selves as a “gov­ern­ment in wait­ing”.

Polls ear­lier in the year showed an in­crease in sup­port for the party, but that pe­tered out to­wards year-end.

PRAVIN GORDHAN

JULIUS MALEMA

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