‘EFF will get a klap at Sona’

The Red Berets’ ef­forts to dis­rupt Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Na­tion ad­dress will back­fire, ex­pert says.

The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Sipho Mabena [email protected]­i­zen.co.za

‘They will find them­selves thrown out be­fore they can make any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact.’

The strat­egy by the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) to de­rail Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Na­tion ad­dress (Sona) with calls to axe their arch-en­emy and Public En­ter­prises Min­is­ter, Pravin Gord­han, will not only fail but an ex­pert has warned it could also back­fire spec­tac­u­larly.

The red berets’ rab­ble-rous­ing ap­proach against op­po­nents might have worked with for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, who was largely un­pop­u­lar.

But po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Pro­fes­sor An­dre Du­ven­hage be­lieve tar­get­ing the fairly pop­u­lar lead­ers in the same way is ill-con­ceived and the EFF show will be over be­fore they know it.

The EFF’s par­lia­men­tary the­atrics were a con­stant fea­ture of Zuma’s last term but it could have an un­in­tended con­se­quence of the EFF be­ing seen as play­ing the “hit­man” role for those in­side the ANC im­pli­cated in the state cap­ture scan­dal.

The tim­ing of the EFF’s drama is also seem­ingly off as a new study by South African Cit­i­zen Sur­veys shows that Ramaphosa’s pop­u­lar­ity ahead of his third Sona was the high­est at 61%, fol­lowed by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Tito Mboweni and then Gord­han at 28%. EFF leader Julius Malema came fourth at 26%.

“The EFF will find it im­pos­si­ble to dis­credit the duo and will in­stead find them­selves thrown out be­fore they make any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact,” said Du­ven­hage.

He said things could turn vi­o­lent be­cause lots of op­po­si­tion parties in par­lia­ment were against the EFF’s threat and there would likely be im­me­di­ate ac­tion to deal with the EFF soon af­ter they make their move.

This comes in the back­drop of the EFF claim­ing it had learnt of a plot to “smug­gle” po­lice dis­guised as par­lia­men­tary pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers into par­lia­ment to un­leash vi­o­lence on its MPs dur­ing the Sona.

The EFF has re­peated its threat to stop the pres­i­dent from speak­ing to­mor­row be­cause he has pro­tected Gord­han de­spite the min­is­ter’s al­leged role in wors­en­ing the Eskom cri­sis, caus­ing job losses by push­ing for pri­vati­sa­tion of state-owned en­ti­ties (SOEs) and wag­ing a cam­paign against black ex­ec­u­tives at SOEs.

Du­ven­hage, a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist at the Uni­ver­sity of North West, said Gord­han was seen by the EFF to be the “king­pin” be­hind Ramaphosa and that their strat­egy and tac­tic was to use Gord­han as a first domino to get to Ramaphosa.

He said Ramaphosa rekin­dled the na­tion’s hope in po­lit­i­cal lead­ers af­ter Zuma’s hor­ror years and that Gord­han was largely seen as the sym­bol of anti-cor­rup­tion.

“Gord­han is seen as a sym­bol of state cap­ture bat­tle and those in­side the ANC can­not be seen to be fight­ing their own leader, but Malema can do it,” Du­ven­hage said.

In July, EFF MPs were thrown out of par­lia­ment af­ter they ac­costed Gord­han on the podium, pre­vent­ing him from de­liv­er­ing his de­part­ment’s bud­get speech.

In­de­pen­dent po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Ebrahim Fakir said the EFF had no moral or le­gal le­git­i­macy to call for Gord­han’s head as there were no par­al­lels be­tween him and Zuma.

“It is clear at­ten­tion seek­ing and they are get­ting at­ten­tion for noth­ing. If they go through with their threats, they will find that public sym­pa­thy is not with them,” he said. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.