“South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both,” stated Oxford academic, Dr RW Johnson, on the cover of his book How long can South Africa survive. Added to Johnson’s warning should be words to the effect that the politics of Malema’s EFF spell utter catastrophe for South Africa. Malema’s serial incitement of hate and denigration of whites and everything associated with the white section of the population constitutes not only outrage in terms of section 16 (2) of the constitution but represents a malignancy that, if not excised, will destroy this country.
Whereas an insignificant individual called Penny Sparrow was legally, socially and financially eviscerated for a racist comment on social media, Malema has never been subjected to any such punishment for his November 2016 exhortation that at some future point whites should be ‘slaughtered,’ (Mercury, November 8, 2016). His latest promise to destroy “whiteness,” referring to the white DA mayor of Port Elizabeth and his incendiary demands for the nationalisation of land and property have destroyed the goodwill and hope that flickered briefly following the accession of Cyril Ramaphosa to the presidency. The spike in white emigration applications is proof of that.
By endorsing Malema’s motion for the expropriation of land without compensation, whatever spin Ramaphosa tries to put on it, the ANC have indicated their willingness to renounce a key aspect of the constitution. Moreover, they have shown that they prioritise political opportunism and populism above economic stability, investor confidence, political sensibility. and maturity.
For the DA which saw fit to co-opt the EFF as a coalition partner in various metros, high noon has arrived. Although there is merit in the adage that ‘politics is the art of the possible,’ the DA, which used to spurn the Freedom Front as sectional and racist and therefore unacceptable as a coalition partner, needs to eat humble pie for having set aside its ‘values’ so as to accept EFF metro support. As the saying, ‘when you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.’
The EFF and its firebrand fuhrer are a cancer in the body politic that must be isolated and eviscerated if South Africa is to have a future worth experiencing.
Sent into The Mercury and published, 6 March 2018.