On the 26 of July, 2013 1200 activists from all over South Africa gathered in Soweto, Uncle Tom’s Hall in a gathering called National Assembly on What is To Be Done. Here, two crucial resolutions were taken; one was to establish the Economic Freedom Fighters as a political organisation that should mobilise all of society for the realisation of economic freedom in our lifetime. Two, the National Assembly on What is To Be Done took a decision that EFF must contest political power beginning with the contestation of 2014 general elections.
This month on the 26 of July, these resolutions will turn 12 months old, which means EFF will mark its one year anniversary since its establishment. We therefore trace the progress, by and large, of these two resolutions; how far are we in establishing the EFF as an organisation that exists in all corners of South Africa, and how did we perform in the 2014 general elections. The status of the second resolution is now gospel truth to all South Africans; EFF is in parliament and it is there to stay until the next elections when it takes over power and lead the people of South Africa into economic freedom.
In this press conference we take an opportunity to brief the people of South Africa and the world of our programs towards the consolidation of the first resolution and how we will mark the one year anniversary of this giant child of the people; the EFF.
ROAD TO THE ELECTIVE NATIONAL PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
The Central Command Team of the EFF has met and agreed on guidelines on the launching of Branches, of Regional and Provincial structures as well as the National structure of the EFF. Regional and Provincial Command Teams have all held workshops to go through the guidelines. These guidelines stipulate processes and procedures on the conduct of assemblies of the EFF which will be taking policy perspectives and electing the leadership of the EFF.
From the beginning, the EFF has been clear that it is constituted by temporary teams whose mandate was to establish the organisation and allow its leadership to be elected this year at all levels. The coming six months of the year will be about consolidating the EFF as the vanguard of community and worker struggles through establishment of branches in all of South Africa. This means all members of the EFF should be organised into Ward based branches and recruit activists and genuine fighters into the movement.
The CCT took a decision that before this phase begins, Regional Command Teams and Provincial Command Teams should be constituted of 15 members each. All provinces have thus been restructured with the exception of Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape which will both be done before the end of next week. It is therefore noteworthy that this restructuring was not exceptional to particular provinces as the media has tended to report. This restructuring ensured that EFF structures are adequate working teams, not rally meetings, and have a gender, generational and geographic balance.
Following the restructuring, these are the changes:
Gauteng: Convener Mgcini Tshwaku; Coordinator Omphile Maotwe
Western Cape: Convener Nazier Paulsen; Coordinator Veronica Mente
Northern Cape: Convener Aubrey Baartman; Coordinator Apolo Gopolang
KwaZulu Natal: Convener Vuzi Khoza; Coordinator Vukani Ndlovu
North West: Convener Alfred Motsi; Coordinator Papiki Babuile
Limpopo: Convener Michael Mathebe; Coordinator Jossey Buthane
Free State: Convener Kgotso Morapela; Coordinator Mandisa Makesini
Commissar Tebogo Mokwele has now replaced Commissar Mandisa Makhesini on the War Council.
The lingering tail of the enemy has however chosen to distort the interpretation of this process to provoke the raring ugly head of destruction seeking to destabilize the unity and cohesion of the EFF. It has given undue platforms to faceless individuals who seek personal glory and attention at the expense of the image of the organisation. They are being used as infiltrators to collapse the EFF, render it dysfunctional and impose the same fate as all opposition parties since 1994 that were started and led by black leadership. The DA chief madam has also taken platform to sell cheap analysis to the liberal media about the fate of the EFF, joining the infiltrators in the work of destruction. She must know, together with her liberal white media that not everything black is destined to collapse.
The reality is that the EFF is indestructible by these elements because they are weak and use tactics well known to the leadership. Fighters everywhere are there to crush any tendency that seeks to make EFF accountable to the liberal media and thinks it can gain attention and the ear of the leadership through the media. There is no genuine fighter who will see the media, including social media networks, as legitimate platforms to discuss internal organisational issues. Therefore, we call upon fighters everywhere to continue guarding the unity of the movement and protect the organisation from the enemy’s attack.
The following are important dates towards the consolidation of the second phase of the Soweto mandate;
1. Recruitment and renewal of Membership: On-going
2. Branch People’s Assemblies: 30th June 2014 to 7th September 2014
3. Regional People’s Assemblies: 22nd August 2014 to 5th October 2014
4. Provincial People’s Assemblies: 5th October to 30th November 2014
5. National People’s Assembly: 13th to the 16th of December 2014.
6. Within these dates, RCTs and PCTs shall write to the CCT to request for the National Audit Team to audit branches if they are ready for the respective Assemblies
All the regions of the EFF are expected to launch a minimum of 70% of the branches in the total number of existing wards in a given district or metropolitan municipality in order to qualify to hold an elective Regional Peoples Assembly. In order for a branch to be launched it must have a minimum of 100 members who have paid their R10 membership fee. As for provinces, they too must have launched a minimum of 70% of branches in all existing wards in the province to qualify for assembly. In essence, no province or region will go to an elective Peoples Assembly without launching a minimum of 70% branches.
The point is to ensure that the EFF exists everywhere in South Africa and this crucial to the sustainability of the movement and realisation of the mission of economic freedom in our lifetime. The Guidelines of the EFF stress that in every Branch Peoples Assembly there shall be a political input which will focus on the EFF Founding Manifesto. Meaning, these are not gatherings of voting cattle, but political gatherings that must continue to strengthen the political consciousness of fighters and deepen the understanding of the mission of economic freedom in our lifetime.
Following this, the EFF will be doing rapid ideological work to tease out in detail the broader mission of economic emancipation. Thus, policy discussion documents will be launched on the 26 of July 2014 and these will deal with land and agrarian reform, minerals and energy, social transformation, industrial development and trade policy amongst others. Regional, Provincial and National Assembly will be expected to use these documents to strengthen policy development in the EFF.
EFF ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
The EFF shall mark its one year anniversary through mainly three programs. One is the launch of our book The Coming Revolution which already signifies the heritage of this young giant, and a sign of our commitment to intellectual production. The Coming Revolution will go on a tour to be launched under the following details:
8 July 2014 in Cape Town
14 July 2014 in Johannesburg
15 July 2014 in Durban
22 July 2014 in Port Elizabeth
The second build up program towards the anniversary will be public lectures that will be given in all provinces by the Commander in Chief and commissars of the EFF. They will happen under the following details:
Limpopo: Thohoyandou on the 08 July
North West: Potchefstroom on the 10 July
Mpumalanga: Gert Sibande on the 15 July
Gauteng: Soshanguve on the17 July
Free State: Bloemfontein on the 18 July
Northern Cape: Springbok on the 22 July
KwaZulu Natal: Ongoye on the 17 July
Eastern Cape: Alice in the 22 July
Western Cape: Stellenbosch on the 22 July
Further details as regards venues and times will be communicated in due course.
The EFF was consciously birthed on the 26 of July to identify with the July 26 Movement of the historic Cuban Revolution. This signifies that from the beginning the EFF was internationalist in outlook and a socialist organisation. The celebration on the day will take the form of a rally which will take place on the 26 July, 2014 in Soweto; the birth place of the EFF.
EFF IN PARLIAMENT
There are many who wish the EFF away in different platforms of legislatures and parliament by suppressing its open association with the working class through red overalls and domestic worker clothes. The mindless accusation of DA and ANC honourables is that these worker dress codes are unparliamentarily, yet they forget that Nelson Mandela wore shirts without tie, including in the United Nations or that Mandla Mandela and Nosimo Balindlela walked into parliament bare footed during the fashion parades of the State of the Nation Address.
Why would a Premier who was a former unionist, supported by the Communist Party outlaw working class dress codes in his legislature, unless it reminds them of their own bourgeois investments and household servants. It means the Westminister Parliamentary system is being defended by communists without any form of class analysis and interests it represents. Unfortunately this means we must consider the SACP a mere reading club and desk of the ANC; essentially their take on this matter proves that they do not exit, let alone that they are Marxists.
Malusi Gigaba once attended the SONA dressed in pilot clothes, but no one made a parliamentary decorum ruling on him, because elite job clothes like Pilots are not seen as disruptive whereas those of domestic and mineworkers are dismissed. Also both South Africa and Nigeria use a Westminister system of parliament, but in Nigeria people go to parliament in flip-flops, and not the hard shoes and suits of the European elite culture.
The sad reality though, is that the ANC members in the Gauteng Legislature think they are better than their national leadership. This is because in the National Assembly, the ANC accepted the overalls, and paid attention to the ideological content of the debates. Yet in Gauteng, which has always felt that it is above its national leadership, they used the expulsion of EFF MPLs to try and demonstrate that for them what defeated the national leadership will not defeat them. Their act is consistent with a long standing attitude of thinking they are exceptional to the rest of the ANC.
The EFF is taking both the Gauteng and Eastern Cape legislatures to court for an urgent interdict to stop them from expelling EFF members on the basis of dress code. It is shameless that South African parliaments have not accepted that parliament should be about ideas and not dress codes. They forget that universities themselves used to force students and lectures into European elite decorum of suites and ties until they realised that ideas are not about what you wear. To this day they have not lost their reputation as centres of knowledge production simply because they no longer wear suites and garments.
The EFF in parliament was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the highest court in the land and he did not see anything disrespectable about worker clothes. Yet presiding officers of Gauteng and Eastern Cape think can make mindless stinking rulings that worker clothes are disorderly. EFF will not retreat and that is why it will take it to court because parliament should be about ideological and policy discussions that change people’s lives as opposed to who is wearing what.
Finally there are small minds who think the EFF was fighting for medical aid in parliament when in essence we were fighting to be removed from it. This is simply because parliament medical aid was illegally and unconstitutionally forced on members of parliament. This is another matter that the EFF is taking to court. EFF will seek an urgent relief from PARMED whilst parliament amends the out-dated apartheid law that compels parliamentarians to use it.
Also the EFF will be challenging the ruling of Thandi Modise, the former premier of the North West who is now the NCOP Chairperson. Thandi Modise incorrectly and illegally ruled that it is inappropriate to attribute the Marikana massacre to the ANC. EFF will take the ruling to court and make sure that the right to freedom of speech is restored and members of parliament can rightly say that “the ANC government killed people in Marikana”.
We shall never surrender to unjust laws and we are determined to consolidate the EFF as the vanguard of community and workers struggles. The down trodden and poor masses of our people have for the first time taken interest in what law makers are doing in parliament because of the EFF. This is not going to change because EFF wherever it is, it makes sure that the working class is represented and feels part of the radical change it is introducing. Every fighter must now be an organiser, and may the phase of consolidating the Soweto mandate come to completion with great unity of purpose. Long live the EFF, Mayihlome, futhi Asijiki!
ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS
MBUYISENI QUINTIN NDLOZI (National Spokesperson)