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In South Africa, it has ever been thus – the politics of race is the very lifeblood of the hustings. If you doubt it, have a quick leaf through our recent history and then listen to Julius Malema speaking to a small crowd outside the Westville prison yesterday. In some cleverly woven rhetoric, he selectively picks out every ANC failure and shortcoming on delivery, points to its original Codesa concessions (especially on land ownership) and labels it ‘anti-black’. As for white appeasing, well there was Codesa – but what better example than the Gautrain, which can whisk you from OR Tambo Airport to Sandton or Pretoria in a quarter the time it takes a savvy taxi driver, but at a price that’s unaffordable to the majority? When I say cleverly-woven rhetoric, I don’t mean particularly intelligent; just unerringly and accurately tailored to his audience and at an ANC-disillusioned and growing section of the disenfranchised population. Come the 2019 elections, it’s going to be fascinating to see where the opposition party growth goes. Simple arithmetic tells me there’s more vote-fodder among the majority disenfranchised than there is among the emerging middle classes and historically privileged. No guessing who’ll benefit from that. – Chris Bateman
By Amanda Khoza
Durban – Building a political party is not like making popcorn, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Sunday.
“Building a political party is not like producing popcorn, it takes time. You ought to build quality slowly but surely. I am happy to lead this organisation because I can see progress,” Malema said.
He was speaking to thousands of supporters outside Westville Correctional Services in Durban after visiting detained student leader, Bonginkosi Khanyile.
Malema revealed that next year the party would focus on building “functional branches instead of factional ones”.
“The ANC, this year is going to self-destruct. When they kill each other, we must be building [from the] ground up, we must have a powerful eThekwini region. Not a region of factions and that belongs to certain individuals.”
‘Lazy people will be exposed’
He said councillors in branches should work hard to deliver services to South Africans.
“We don’t want anyone amongst us who will complain that this councillor was elected corruptly – you are still in the past if you think like that. You are stuck like a scratched CD.
“Anyone who is lazy will be exposed through hard work. The system will reject those people.”
He said the EFF was the only organisation that was growing and reminded supporters that there were no individuals who “considered themselves bigger than the party”.
“We are the only organisation that increased votes during elections from 0 to 8% – don’t listen to nonsense. The politics of elections are calculated according to the previous year of elections.”
He said he was particularly proud of the party’s KZN supporters because they were in difficult political terrain.
“But here you are fighting day and night to make things possible.”
‘What is black about the ANC?’
To his critics who threw jibes at the party for going into coalitions with the DA and the IFP he said: “If we must give the devil himself the vote, we will do that. We will never give the ANC our vote.
“We did not give the DA or the IFP our vote, we removed the ANC. Our [mission] is to remove the ANC.”
He asked the more than 1 500 people what the ANC had done for them in the last 23 years.
“What is black about the ANC because everything and every policy of the ANC is anti-black? What is black about RDP houses, what is black about this unemployment, this lack of service areas, labour brokers, the hospitals and clinics that are not functional?
“The education system that has collapsed, the poor people who are paid peanuts at workplaces – show me one thing that the ANC is doing which black people can be proud of?”
He said people might say the Gautrain was delivered by the ANC, but he argued that the Gautrain could not be used by the poor.
“The Gautrain is beautiful, the ANC came with the Gautrain. Go into the train and see who uses the Gautrain. Anything beautiful done by the ANC is for the white people.”
He called the ANC sell-outs for negotiating a bad deal during the democracy negotiations.
“The ANC went into the so-called government of unity with the National Party…Were they not sell-outs when they worked with the National Party? Where is the National Party today, it is in the ANC.”
He said he refused to be “educated by people who were harbouring apartheid murderers”.
“Where is the land today? Where is the economy? In the apartheid negotiations… the ANC was sitting on the table conceding and letting go of our property. The apartheid government conceded to nothing that related to the economy.
“The EFF never signed any deal that said the land must be taken. The ANC sat and was part of people who signed the deal that said if you want land from a white person, you must buy it.”
He said the ANC had no right to call the EFF “sell-outs”.
“And they think that they have the authority to say that we are sell-outs. Never doubt yourself, you are not sell-outs.” – News24