On Friday February 21st the EFF held a pre- manifesto dinner at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. The Live team were on duty on the night. The event was dubbed a “Professionals Network Seminar”, as all their provincial coordinators were in the same room. It was a perfect opportunity for them to mingle, but more importantly the event was a fundraising platform as dignitaries were charged R2000 per head and R20 000 per table booking for the evening.
The program director for the night was former ANCYL spin doctor and current EFF head of international relations and solidarity Magdelene Moonsamy, who revealed that the EFF will be starting a branch in Saudi Arabia! National Spokesperson & Head of communications Mbuyiseni Ndlozi was next on the podium to unveil the official EFF soundtrack.
“We have produced a double-disc album in 99 hours, when an average 12-13 track album would take over 120 hours. This is a sign of the lightning speed service we will provide” Mbuyiseni said. The album includes relatively unknown artists but boasts 1 recognized name, songbird & actress Tina Mkwaiwa.
The entire room broke out into song & dance before the Commander-in-chief himself Julius Malema stepped onto the podium to deliver the key note address. Opening with a few jokes saying “I don’t know why you are all looking so serious” he proceeded to give a very informal speech on what the EFF stands for and threw the customary jabs at his former ANC leader Jacob Zuma.
His speech turned sentimental as he paid homage to the late, great Nelson Mandela and his legacy saying; “The real Nelson Mandela was ready to kill for what he believed in, that’s why he formed Umkhonto Wesizwe. He was not this gentleman that the media portrayed him to be”. He went back to his usual tone in typical Malema fashion saying “eTV sent Zuma’s son-in-law, Xoli Mngambi, so Zuma is also represented here”.
The next morning was the big day for Malema & his “fighters”, as they refer to each other. The world was set to witness Malema’s vision with the Economic Freedom Fighters at Mehlareng Stadium in Tembisa. The most topical subject was that the ANC Youth League chose to have a “Voter Festival” a few kilometres away at Makhulong Staduim. Many people were accusing them of sabotage, but Malema was not phased saying “We (EFF) make things happen even the people meeting next door are meeting because of us”.
The event started off with performances from the artists featured on the EFF soundtrack and the introduction of the Central Command Team which includes internationally acclaimed actor Fana Mokoena who was revealed to be in charge of Arts & Culture. Controversial religious leader Pastor Mbhoro was also in attendance, he rendered the opening & closing prayer for the event.
The wives of the Marikana victims also got on stage in full EFF regalia declaring their admiration for “The people’s Advocate” Dali Mpofu, and their support for Malema and the EFF. 7 political parties including the PAC, AZAPO and BCM were in attendance, and and a personal text message from UDM’s Bantu Holomisa was received in solidarity and support, showing that other left-wing organisations recognize and appreciate what EFF is doing. A lot of people had mixed reactions towards the Manifesto which proposed an increased minimum wage for all full-time workers and an increase of social grants. But it also proposed the eradication of incentives white-owned companies receive for complying with BEE policy.
The entire manifesto could be put into a ying & yang (good/bad) format and it was interesting to see Malema, the politician and not the radicalist in action. A lot of people forget that he is a politician like the rest but he has had a special position where he could throw mud at any public servant who wasn’t delivering. This is actually the first time in his political career where he is in a position of scrutiny, his inexperience in public service was evident in this manifesto.
Julius Malema may be inexperienced in public service but he is a smart politician, in fact people don’t realize how smart a politician he actually is, he resonates well with the people. The EFF manifesto may have holes in it but he gave people one thing that all the other political parties including the ANC have failed to do and that is a sense of hope. He finished off his speech by saying “I don’t do this for you or me but for our children, I do this for a generation to come”
Pictures by: Kabelo Seshibe (@KCSeshibe)
Check out our latest content on our VIP mini-site livevip.co.za and YouTube channel, Like our dedicated Facebook page Facebook/LiveVIPZA, join the discussion on Twitter #livevipza or join ourTwibbon campaign.